Manchin Opposes Biden’s Office of Management and Budget Director Nominee

February 19, 2021 Updated: February 20, 2021

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Feb. 19 that he will oppose the confirmation Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, due to her partisan statements aimed at lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“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.”

During her confirmation hearings, Tanded was questioned about her statements about both Democrats and Republicans. She has clashed with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) since 2016. Republican senators grilled Tanden about a number of offensive tweets, including one in which she called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Moscow Mitch.”

Tanden apologized for the statements.

Prior to her nomination, Tanden served as the president of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. She is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton.

With the Senate split 50-50, Tanden will need to support of at least one Republican to be confirmed.

It’s the first real test that Biden has faced on a nomination, with most of his picks for Cabinet positions sailing through the chamber with bipartisan support.

Biden, asked Friday whether he would pull Tanden’s nomination, said he wouldn’t.

“I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed,” Biden said.

Moments earlier, the White House had issued a statement defending her.

“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 said.

The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to vote on her nomination next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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