Top Oversight Committee Members Demand Documents Being Withheld by DeVos on Rule Stripping Protections for Survivors of Sexual Assault
Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Committee Members Jackie Speier, Brenda Lawrence, and Ayanna Pressley, sent a letter pressing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to produce documents relating to the Department’s decision to finalize a dangerous Title IX rule that would strip protections for survivors of sexual violence and make schools less safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Department’s decision to finalize the Title IX rule as we continue to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak is alarming and irresponsible,” the Members wrote. “Across the country, students and educational institutions are struggling to re-define education in the wake of a global pandemic. It is egregious that the Department is insisting on pushing forward a rule that endangers the civil rights of survivors and imposes new and onerous burdens on our schools.”
Today, the Democratic Women’s Caucus will hold a virtual Member roundtable on the effects of the Title IX rule. Speakers will include Know My Name author Chanel Miller; advocate Amanda Thomashow, who was the first to file a Title IX complaint against Larry Nassar; NWLC Director of Justice for Student Survivors Shiwali Patel; and Know Your IX Manager Sage Carson.
“Organizations representing student survivors of sexual assault, as well as Attorneys General in 18 states and the District of Columbia, are seeking to block the Department from implementing the rule, which is set to go into effect on August 14, 2020,” the Members wrote.
On February 14, 2020, every Democratic Member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to DeVos seeking documents for the Department’s proposed Title IX rule.
They raised specific concerns about the proposed rule’s harmful impacts, the flawed cost-benefit analysis underlying the rule, and the Department’s lack of transparency in the rulemaking process.
The Department refused to provide any documents or information and instead argued incorrectly that it could not comply with the request for documents while it was considering the proposed rule.
“As Members of the Committee and leaders of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, we are troubled by the Department’s decision to finalize this harmful rule while stonewalling appropriate oversight of the rulemaking process,” the lawmakers wrote.
The Committee requests that the Department produce by all documents and information by July 3, 2020.
Click here to read today’s letter.