Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Democrats craft billionaire tax with deal in reach Democrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion 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.
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 MurkowskiHouse passes bill to expand workplace protections for nursing mothers Democrats look for plan B on filibuster Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week MORE (Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFunding for victims of 'Havana syndrome' to be included in Pentagon bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination 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 SchumerChuck SchumerSenators weigh future of methane fee in spending bill Biden hopes for deal on economic agenda before Europe trip The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding MORE (N.Y.), have come out against DeVos, and Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame 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."