Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced his opposition to Neera Tanden’s nomination to serve as director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Friday, likely signaling the Biden administration will not have the votes for confirmation.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat, said in a statement to reporters that the decision to oppose Tanden, a former president of Center for American Progress, over concerns that she would be too political in the role. The senator, in particular, referenced Tanden’s history of making inflammatory comments on social media against both high-profile Republicans and Democrats.
“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 on Friday in announcing his opposition.
“As I’ve said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division … that pervades our politics,” the senator added. “At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the … challenges facing our nation.”
NEW: Sen Manchin is not supporting Neera Tanden’s nomination for OMB.
"I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets… I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship…” pic.twitter.com/jrx9CXbVW6
— Julie Tsirkin (@JulieNBCNews) February 19, 2021
Manchin’s opposition means that Tanden’s nomination is likely doomed. Currently, each party only holds 50 seats within United States Senate. Democrats hold the majority, however, because of the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. As such Manchin’s opposition means that Tanden would need at least one Republican to vote with at least-49 Democrats to secure confirmation were her nomination to make it to the Senate floor. That prospect is increasingly unlikely, though, especially as GOP senators and outside conservative groups have raised concerns about Tanden’s qualifications.
This is not the first time that Manchin has dashed the hopes of his own party since President Joe Biden took office. Last month, the West Virginia Democrat announced his opposition to jettisoning the filibuster, a Senate rule requiring 60 votes to end debate on a piece of legislation. It had become a point of internal division for Democrats.
Manchin’s decision came even as a significant portion of his own party within the chamber argued scrapping the filibuster was imperative to prevent Republicans from potentially obstructing Biden’s agenda.