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Biden plans to declare major disaster in Texas
President Joe Biden says he wants to visit Texas and plans to declare a “major disaster” in the state as soon as the paperwork gets to his desk. (Feb. 19)
WASHINGTON – Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., a key moderate Democrat, announced Friday he would oppose President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget, throwing her nomination into jeopardy.
Manchin said in a statement after reviewing Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were “personally directed” toward his Senate colleagues, he would oppose her nomination to run the powerful office.
“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.
Although a final Senate vote on Tanden’s nomination has yet been scheduled, Manchin’s opposition could scuttle her confirmation because of the Senate’s 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats. She would need to pick up at least one vote from a Republican and for Vice President Kamala Harris to break a potential tie to secure the simple majority needed for confirmation.
The White House signaled it would press ahead with 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,” press secretary Jennifer Psaki said.
Asked by reporters if he would pull Tanden’s nomination from consideration, Biden said “no.”
“I think we are going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” he said. It is unclear which Republican senators might vote for Tanden, many of whom took offense to her older social media posts and statements criticizing them.
The Senate Budget Committee is set to vote on Tanden’s nomination next week in advance of a full floor vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the committee’s chairman, was noncommital on Tanden’s nomination in a Friday evening CNN interview, saying he would talk to Tanden “early next week.”
Tanden, the former head of the liberal Center for American Progress, had taken heat during the confirmation process for past statements on social media that sometimes strayed into personal attacks on lawmakers.
During her confirmation hearings before the Senate Budget Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Tanden apologized for her past remarks.
“My language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that. And I really regret it and I recognize that it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others,” she told the Budget Committee earlier this month. “I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments and my approach will be radically different.”
Contributing: Courtney Subramanian and Joey Garrison