- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Two Republicans announced Wednesday that they will vote against confirming Betsy DeVos to be the next secretary at the Education Department, leaving her nomination on very thin ice.

Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the two Republicans, said they weren’t convinced of Mrs. DeVos’s commitment to public schools.

They join Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who also announced he wouldn’t support Mrs. DeVos, despite generally voting to back President Trump’s picks.

“I’m concerned that Mrs. DeVos’s lack of experience with public schools will make it difficult for her to fully understand, identify and assist with those challenges,” Ms. Collins said.

The GOP holds an effective 52-48 majority in the Senate but with both women saying they’ll side with Democrats against her, and with even Mr. Manchin saying he’ll oppose her, it’s unlikely Mrs. DeVos will get more than 50 votes’ support. That would mean Vice President Mike Pence could have to break a tie.

The White House was unconcerned, with press secretary Sean Spicer saying they are still convinced Mrs. DeVos will be approved.

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