Joe Manchin will oppose Neera Tanden for OMB Director


Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said Friday he will oppose the nomination of Neera Tanden to be director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Mr. Manchin’s position could doom Ms. Tanden’s nomination in the 50-50 split Senate, though President Biden predicted she will ultimately be confirmed. Many Republicans have already signaled their opposition.

Mr. Manchin said Ms. Tanden’s “overtly partisan statements” will have a “toxic and detrimental impact” on the working relationship between members of Congress and the OMB Director.

“For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” Mr. Manchin said. “As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics.”

Mr. Biden said he’s not pulling the nomination.

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

Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote in the Senate means Mr. Biden can get his nominees through if all 50 members of the Democratic caucus hang together.

Mr. Biden’s optimism notwithstanding, it’s unlikely that many Senate Republicans would want to provide the decisive vote to get Ms. Tanden across the finish line.

At her confirmation hearings, Senate Republicans raised concerns about Ms. Tanden‘s mean tweets, which include likening Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to Voldemort, the villain from the Harry Potter series.

Ms. Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, apologized to senators for some of her past statements and said she would bring a different approach to the job.

She has also feuded in the past with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

Mr. Biden and other Democrats have defended Ms. Tanden as a brilliant policy wonk. They say Republicans can’t get too riled up about mean tweets after four years of ignoring former President Trump’s bullying and harassing social media habits that helped earn him a permanent boot from Twitter.

Neera Tanden  is up to the task,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, Kentucky Democrat, said last week. “Her personal and professional experiences and her proven track record of fighting for working Americans uniquely qualifies her to lead OMB as it implements the Biden-Harris agenda.”


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