Feb 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin to vote “no” on Tanden’s nomination for White House budget office director

Sen. Joe Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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.

Why it matters: 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.

The big picture: 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.

What they're saying: "I think we're going to find the votes to get her confirmed," Biden said at Joint Base Andrews Friday evening, adding he has no intention of withdrawing Tanden's nomination following Manchin's announcement.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that 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 continue to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties."

What we're watching: 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.

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