This just in from the Associated Press: Susan Collins, a Republican Senator from Maine, has announced her opposition to Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education.
BREAKING: Key Senate Republican Susan Collins announces opposition to Education nominee Betsy DeVos.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 1, 2017
Originally, it was suspected Collins might fold during the confirmation hearing, though she ultimately voted for the confirmation to move to the full Senate in a 12-11 along partisan lines.
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has also voiced concern over DeVos, though she too voted in favor of her in committee. She will be joining Collins in opposition.
MURKOWSKI A NO ON FINAL VOTE FOR DEVOS AS WELL- 49-50 Y/N w/o considering vote from Sessions
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) February 1, 2017
The full Senate vote requires a simple majority for confirmation, and Collins makes it a much thinner margin than previously hoped – the GOP has 52 seats in the Senate, and without Collins they only have 51. If Murkowski joins Collins, that makes it 50-50 with Vice President Mike Pence as the deciding vote.