Manchin rules out becoming Trump’s Energy secretary

Greg Nash

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is quashing speculation that he’ll leave the Senate to become President Trump’s Energy secretary.

The Democratic senator, who is facing a tough 2018 reelection bid, said at a town hall that he would not be jumping to the Trump administration.

{mosads}Jonathan Kott, a spokesman for Manchin, confirmed the Democratic senator said at the town hall that he would not be Trump’s next Energy secretary. 

White House and GOP officials floated Manchin as a potential pick to lead the Energy Department as part of a strategy to get Republicans a 50th vote on repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

The move would let West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who earlier this month switched to the GOP, appoint a Republican to replace Manchin in the Senate.

Under the scenario, current Energy Secretary Rick Perry would be appointed to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Manchin, in turn, would be named to lead the Department of Energy.

Republicans, who have a 52-seat majority, fell one vote short in their bid to pass a “skinny” bill to repeal parts of ObamaCare. The repeal effort is sidelined unless they can flip GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) or Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), or find a way to expand their majority.

Manchin was reportedly considered for the job after Trump’s election in November, but Trump eventually nominated Perry to the post.

Tags Joe Manchin John McCain Lisa Murkowski Rick Perry Susan Collins

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