After Joe Manchin’s Opposition, Neera Tanden in Danger of Not Being Confirmed as Joe Biden’s Budget Director
President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget could very well be denied confirmation.
Neera Tanden is in danger of losing her nomination after Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Friday that he would oppose her. If every Republican voted against Tanden, which is a possibility, all it would take is Manchin’s opposition to deny her the post.
“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. I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Manchin said in a statement. “For this reason, I cannot support her nomination. 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.”
Tanden is a controversial figure. She is an establishment Democrat who has made a name for herself fiercely criticizing Republican politicians and even Senator Bernie Sanders, particularly through Twitter. She has compared Mitch McConnell to Voldemort, said that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” and called Susan Collins “the worst” over her decision to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And that’s just the very tip of the iceberg.
At one of her confirmation hearings she said she regretted using such language and takes responsibility for it, though it’s highly unlikely that that’s satisfying Republican senators, Joe Manchin, and perhaps Bernie Sanders. Politicians and political operatives criticize each other all the time, but one can hardly blame senators for not wanting to confirm someone who had personally insulted them.
President Biden has refused to pull his nomination of Tanden and claims that she’ll get the votes to be confirmed. Democratic senators—and maybe even the president and Vice President Harris—are surely hard at work trying to convince Manchin to renege on his opposition. They might also be trying to convince Mitt Romney or Lisa Murkowski to confirm Tanden in case Manchin can’t be persuaded. It will be interesting to see how the vote shakes out.