Manchin says he will vote against DeVos

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump awards Medal of Freedom to NBA legend Bob Cousy Overnight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west MORE (W.Va.) said Wednesday that he will oppose Betsy DeVos's nomination to lead the Department of Education.

Manchin — a Democrat from a red state who is up for reelection in 2018 — said he has "serious concerns" about President Trump's nominee.

"Every child in West Virginia deserves a quality education, and I do not believe that Betsy DeVos is qualified to serve in this role, which is so vital to the future of our state," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Manchin specifically pointed to DeVos's support for charter schools and the fact that she hasn't worked or attended a public school as key reasons for his opposition.

"The needs facing rural schools in West Virginia are unique, and her lack of exposure to public education is very concerning for me," he added.

DeVos could face a rocky path to confirmation. Republicans have a 52-seat majority, but two Republicans — Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins challenger hit with ethics complaints over reimbursements Overnight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs MORE (Maine) — have voiced reservations about supporting her nomination.

If Republicans were to defect on the confirmation vote, GOP leadership could need to flip red-state Democrats, like Manchin, to get DeVos confirmed.

Top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (N.Y.), have come out against DeVos, and Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again MORE (D-Minn.) has predicted that no Democrats would support her.

Manchin said Trump's Education secretary needs to be someone "who has an understanding of the needs of all children, including those with disabilities, and is committed to ensuring they receive a quality education."