Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced on Friday that he’s against confirming Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee to direct the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
Given the even partisan cut up of the Senate, Manchin’s objection jeopardizes Tanden’s affirmation, which might require at the very least 50 votes, and dangers handing Biden his first main political defeat as president.
Manchin, a conservative Democrat representing an more and more Republican state, cited Tanden’s “overtly partisan” feedback to elucidate his place.
“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” Manchin mentioned. “I consider her overtly partisan statements could have a poisonous and detrimental influence on the essential working relationship between members of Congress and the subsequent director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” he continued. “As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation.”
The Office of Management and Budget is answerable for assembling the president’s annual price range proposals and implementing the president’s agenda throughout executive-branch companies.
As president of the Center for American Progress, a assume tank aligned with the Democratic institution, Tanden maintained a combative Twitter presence for a number of years, deriding quite a few Republican lawmakers in addition to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Following Manchin’s remarks on Friday, the White House expressed its continued help for Tanden’s nomination.
“Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent budget director, and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki advised the White House press pool.
Biden affirmed the White House’s help for her in subsequent feedback to the pool.
“I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed,” he mentioned.
At least one different key senator’s intentions are much less clear. In a CNN interview on Friday night, Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, declined to say whether or not he plans to vote for Tanden’s affirmation or whether or not he thinks Biden ought to withdraw her nomination.
“I will be speaking to her early next week to get a sense of what she wants to do as head of the OMB,” Sanders mentioned.
In tweets that have since been deleted, Tanden at varied instances referred to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as “Voldemort” and aggressively censured Republican senators for standing behind former President Donald Trump. She was additionally publicly essential of extra average Republicans whose votes she is going to want if she is to be confirmed. In a now-deleted tweet, she mentioned Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) ought to be haunted by her “terrible treatment of Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford” throughout Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s affirmation hearings.
Following Tanden’s nomination, Republican senators had been fast to pay attention to her on-line presence.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that Tanden was Biden’s “worst nominee so far” and that “her combative and insulting comments…creates certainly a problematic path.”
Her relationships are additionally strained inside her personal camp. She has been essential of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, a rigidity that escalated through the 2016 presidential main between Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Unlike many Democratic leaders who sought to reconcile with Sanders, Tanden continued to joust with the Vermont senator and his allies. Sanders’ 2020 presidential marketing campaign didn’t draw back from the strain, writing a scathing letter in early 2019 deriding CAP as a divisive group trying to stomp on progressive candidates. Pro-Sanders grassroots groups have been campaigning towards Tanden’s nomination.
Sanders pressed Tanden to reply for a few of her remarks throughout a affirmation listening to final week. Tanden expressed remorse for her feedback and promised to desert her previous habits going ahead.
“I apologize to people on either the left or right who are hurt by what I’ve said,” she mentioned.
Tanden endured harsher questioning from Republican senators, although, suggesting that her affirmation vote may happen alongside partisan strains and granting Manchin outsize energy over her future.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) listed donations CAP has taken, together with cash from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s basis, Wall Street financiers, overseas governments and large tech, questioning whether or not Tanden could possibly be below any “undue influence” as head of OMB.
“I and the Center for American Progress aggressively [took on] the role of Facebook and tech companies, have called for higher taxes on companies, [and] regulation of companies,” Tanden responded. “I’m proud of the record of the Center for American Progress and policies that would limit the power of Wall Street and limit the power of tech companies.”
While Tanden’s nomination wasn’t welcomed by all progressives, Manchin’s stance is itself prone to elicit criticism ― particularly from those that had been dissatisfied together with his help for controversial Trump administration appointees, similar to Jeff Sessions and Richard Grenell.
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