Senator Joe Manchin is about to make Joe Biden’s life more difficult by voting ‘no’ on his nominee for director of OMB, which is a cabinet level position:
AXIOS – Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday that he will vote against Neera Tanden, President Biden’s nominee to be director of the Office and Management and Budget.
Manchin’s opposition seriously imperils Tanden’s nomination, as she will now need at least one Republican vote to be confirmed.
Tanden has drawn fire from Republicans and Democrats for her combative posture on Twitter, where she has engaged in late-night feuds, slashing her opponent and defending her positions.
“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.
This marks the first time a Senate Democrat has announced opposition to a Biden Cabinet nominee.
Tanden adopted an apologetic tone in two Senate committee hearings last week, where she apologized for some of her comments.
Democrats felt optimistic that Tanden’s conciliatory approach would carry her across the line and that she would be voted out of committee next week.
Many Republicans haven’t announced their position on Tanden, but if one of them decides to support her, her prospects to lead OMB will be given new life.
The New York Post reported in early December that Tanden had deleted over 1,000 tweets after Biden had announced he would nominate her for OMB.
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, appears to have deleted over 1,000 tweets since Nov. 1, after posts targeting lawmakers whose vote she will need for confirmation resurfaced.
Tanden, a longtime Hillary Clinton adviser and president of the Center for American Progress, is an avid tweeter. She has used the platform to issue bombastic criticisms of lawmakers — as well as voters — who identify to her right and left.
The tweets, some deleted and some still live, reference GOP lawmakers by name, tagging them, and blasting them for supporting President Trump — or in some cases, attacking them personally.
In March, for example, as the country was forced indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tanden tweeted, “I’m glad [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell is fiddling, while the markets burn.” That tweet has since been deleted.
The 50-year-old Clinton loyalist also attacked a fellow moderate, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), calling her “the worst.”
Susan Collins is someone I might have said would have crossed over and voted for Tanden, but maybe not since she’s ‘the worst’.
Several Senators had already spoken out against her nomination by early December:
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a known tweeter, slammed the move as Biden’s “worst nominee so far.”
“I think, in light of her combative and insulting comments about many members of the Senate, mainly on our side of the aisle, that it creates certainly a problematic path,” Cornyn, a member of Senate leadership, said in his initial reaction to the pick.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) echoed Cornyn’s views: “She’s been pretty partisan in some of her previous positions. And in many cases, with respect to Republican senators who would have to vote on her potential nomination.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that while he understood that this particular agency was known for the occasional partisan pick, Tanden went beyond that.
“OMB seems to attract ideological folks, but she’s not just a liberal ideologue, she’s a partisan activist who’s gone after senators of the majority party. She seems to have chosen a path that doesn’t lead to a Senate-confirmed office,” the North Dakota Republican said.
In a tweet, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) slammed Tanden as “a partisan hack who called Susan Collins ‘the worst’ for OMB.”
“Biden said he wanted to unify the country…So much for unity,” he added.
If Tanden is so toxic that even Manchin won’t support her, it’s likely Tanden will get blocked by the Senate. Fingers crossed!