Manchin Announces Opposition To Tanden, Likely Killing Her Nom As OMB Head

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10, 2021 at the U.S.... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Tanden helped found the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization and has held senior advisory positions in Democratic politics since the Clinton administration. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 19, 2021 4:59 p.m.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced Friday that he is opposed to the confirmation of Neera Tanden to lead the The Office of Management and Budget.

In a statement, Manchin said that the “overtly partisan” statements that Tanden had made about lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would have a “toxic and detrimental impact” on her ability to work with Congress in the role.

Manchin’s “no” vote is likely to tank her nomination. As soon as then-President-elect Biden announced her as his pick to led the powerful but wonky agency, Republicans signaled their intent to line up against her confirmation. Some even floated not giving her a confirmation hearing.

But the Democratic wins in two Georgia Senate runoffs a month later kept the prospect of her confirmation alive as long as all 50 Democrats voted in favor of her nomination.

After stints in government under the Clinton and Obama administrations, Tanden spent several years atop the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. But what earned her the most public antipathy from Republicans and now Manchin was her Twitter presence, where she routinely attacked Republican and sometimes Democratic officials  (Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman told her at her confirmation hearing that he found nine pages of tweets of her attacking Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz).

Her apology for the tweets during her confirmation hearings was apparently not enough for Manchin, who broke party line to approve President Trump’s appointees, including in his vote to confirm twitter troll Ric Grenell as Trump’s ambassador to Germany.

It’s unclear if the Biden administration will pull her nomination entirely or try to secure a “yes” vote from a Republican senator.

Manchin’s opposition is the biggest obstacle yet  for the Biden administration in getting his selections confirmed. His other nominees — while being processed more slowly than previous Presidents’ — have yet to face an existential threat to their confirmations.

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