Senate

Manchin says he will vote against DeVos

Sen. Joe Manchin (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.

{mosads}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 Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (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 Schumer (N.Y.), have come out against DeVos, and Sen. Al Franken (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.”

Tags Al Franken Charles Schumer Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Susan Collins
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