President Joe Biden faces his first major defeat in the Senate as his nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden meets Democrat opposition.
Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WV) announced Friday afternoon that he would oppose Tanden’s confirmation.
“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,” he said in a statement.
The news broke while Biden was traveling to Michigan on Air Force One to visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant.
When reporters asked Biden as he exited Air Force One if he would pull the Tanden nomination, he replied, “No.”
The White House said in a statement that they would continue pushing for Tanden’s confirmation.
“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,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
But the 50-50 party split in the Senate means that Biden’s effort to confirm Tanden is likely finished unless a Senate Republican can be convinced to support her.
Tanden’s history of activism and social media vitriol against Republicans and even leftist Democrats has won her few friends in the Senate, despite an attempt to apologize for her past statements. She even panned Biden in 2015 when she was pushing for failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to win the Democrat primary for 2015.
This is the first sign that Manchin is willing to assert his independence from the Biden administration, rather than serve as a rubber stamp of approval.
It also shows that Biden cannot afford to lose one Senate Democrat on his massive $1.9 trillion spending package he plans to pass with a simple majority using budget reconciliation.
Manchin’s willingness to buck Biden on his nominee suggests that he and other Senate Democrats may use their power to dramatically alter Biden’s plan to push through as quickly as politically possible.
The White House did not respond to a Breitbart News request for comment on the future of Tanden’s nomination or whether the president stood by his choice.