U.S. Senator Portman Talks About Education Department Director Nominee

Jan 18, 2017
Originally published on January 19, 2017 12:12 am

The U.S. Senate is holding hearings on President Trump’s cabinet picks. His nominee for Secretary of Education is raising eyebrows because of a court case here in Ohio.

During a recent teleconference, U.S. Senator Rob Portman said he couldn’t answer questions about fines owed to Ohio by a political action committee created by Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos. “I don’t know the details of it. I haven’t heard about this yet,” Portman said.

Portman later issued a statement saying he was told DeVos was not a party to this lawsuit. The PAC she and her husband created was ordered to pay fines for campaign finance violations in Ohio in 2008 which to date total more than $5.3 million. Democratic Senators are pressing her to pay that fine. But her supporters say the lawsuit was politically motivated and contend she has no responsibility to pay the money to the state.

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