Neera Tanden, Biden’s Price range Nominee, Faces Problem to Affirmation

WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Manchin III introduced on Friday that he would oppose the nomination of Neera Tanden, President Biden’s choose to guide the Workplace of Administration and Price range, imperiling her prospects for affirmation in an evenly divided Senate.

The announcement by Mr. Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, underscored the fragility of the ambitions of the brand new Democratic majority within the Senate and the outsize energy that anybody senator holds over the success of Mr. Biden’s administration and agenda.

The destiny of the nomination is now within the arms of a celebration that Ms. Tanden has incessantly criticized up to now, notably average Republicans she has beforehand scorned. Ms. Tanden would want the help of at the very least one Republican senator with the intention to to be confirmed, with the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris wanted to interrupt a tie.

Given Ms. Tanden’s earlier litany of crucial public statements and posts on Twitter in opposition to members of each events, it’s unclear whether or not such help exists.

Mr. Manchin cited statements from Ms. Tanden that have been personally directed at Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican chief; Bernie Sanders, the Vermont impartial now accountable for the Senate Price range Committee; and different colleagues.

“I imagine her overtly partisan statements could have a poisonous and detrimental influence on the essential working relationship between members of Congress and the subsequent director of the Workplace of Administration and Price range,” mentioned Mr. Manchin, who may even forged a decisive vote on Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. “Because of this, I can not help her nomination. As I’ve mentioned earlier than, we should take significant steps to finish the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics.”

Mr. Biden instructed reporters on Friday that he didn’t plan to withdraw her nomination.

“I believe we’re going to discover the votes and get her confirmed,” he mentioned.

Jen Psaki, the White Home press secretary, reiterated that place in a press release: “Neera Tanden is an completed coverage skilled who can be a superb funds director and we look ahead to the committee votes subsequent week and to persevering with to work towards her affirmation by way of engagement with each events.”

However the lack of help from Mr. Manchin might be sufficient to derail the nomination altogether, ought to Republicans stay united in opposition to her choice.

Ms. Tanden can be the primary girl of colour to go the Workplace of Administration and Price range, an company that’s crucial to the execution of the administration’s financial and coverage agendas. However Mr. Biden’s resolution to appoint her even earlier than Democrats received management of the Senate in January surprised a number of lawmakers and aides on Capitol Hill, given the slim margins within the higher chamber and Ms. Tanden’s prolific venom on social media.

A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign, Ms. Tanden had incessantly clashed with Mr. Sanders and different distinguished liberals lengthy after the conclusion of the first race that 12 months. As soon as she was formally nominated to supervise the funds company, Ms. Tanden deleted greater than 1,000 damaging tweets, and liberal senators rallied to her protection.

However she confronted powerful questioning from each Republicans and Democrats throughout her two affirmation hearings this month, with lawmakers from each events inspecting her earlier tweets and statements and grilling her over the thousands and thousands of {dollars} of company donations that her suppose tank, Heart for American Progress, acquired.

Republicans spent the primary hour of her first listening to earlier than a Senate homeland safety committee asking Ms. Tanden to clarify her previous tweets and why she deleted greater than 1,000 shortly after the November election.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and a former director of the Workplace of Administration and Price range, learn aloud posts wherein she referred to as Mr. McConnell “Moscow Mitch” and mentioned that “vampires have extra coronary heart than Ted Cruz,” a Republican senator from Texas.

Her second listening to was no much less fiery, with Mr. Sanders confronting Ms. Tanden over her historical past of leveling private assaults on social media. He additionally demanded particulars in regards to the donations the Heart for American Progress acquired from firms beneath her management and a promise that it might not affect her work within the Biden administration.

Ms. Tanden apologized to lawmakers throughout each hearings, saying she regretted lots of her earlier remarks, and she or he vowed that the donations would carry no weight over her function as funds director.

A spokesman for Mr. Sanders mentioned that he believed the senator was more likely to help Ms. Tanden’s nomination, however he has but to declare that definitively.

Many Democrats accused Republicans of unfairly singling out Ms. Tanden’s social media posts after years of evading queries about President Donald J. Trump’s tweets, even after they espoused racist and offensive commentary or focused their very own colleagues.

“Truthfully, the hypocrisy is astounding,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic chief, mentioned on the time. “If Republicans are involved about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are higher directed at President Trump. I absolutely anticipate to see some crocodile tears spilled on the opposite aspect of the aisle over the president-elect’s cupboard nominees.”

Mr. Biden’s choose for deputy director of the company, Shalanda Younger, is revered by lawmakers and aides in each events after serving as employees director for Home Democrats on the Appropriations Committee. The primary Black girl to serve within the function, she helped wrangle the compromise that ended the nation’s longest authorities shutdown in 2019 and the coronavirus aid packages Congress authorised in 2020.

Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.

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