Alexander: After 7 Months of Needless Democrat Delays, Senate Confirms James Blew to Lead Policy, Planning and Evaluation at Education Department

Posted on July 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2018 — Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after the Senate confirmed James Blew to serve as Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the Education Department:

“James Blew is well-qualified to lead the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development and did not need to be subject to seven months of delays by Senate Democrats. For 20 years, he has advocated for improving educational opportunities for families and children by overseeing grants to low-income, high-risk schools. Former DC public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, a Democrat, even called James Blew ‘an important partner and advisor to me since my days as Chancellor in D.C.’ when Blew replaced her as head of her organization StudentsFirst. I now look forward to working with Mr. Blew in his capacity at the Department of Education, where he will be responsible for helping develop policies, manage the Department’s budget, and ensure that programs are working as intended.”

At the request of Democrats, Chairman Alexander held a confirmation hearing for James Blew on November 15, 2017. The committee first approved his nomination on December 13, 2017, 216 days ago. To compare, President Obama’s first Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Carmel Martin was nominated on March 18, 2009, and was confirmed 44 days later by voice vote. Ms. Martin did not have a confirmation hearing, nor did any of the assistant secretaries for this position going all the way back to the Clinton Administration. Alexander today voted in favor of Mr. Blew’s nomination.