President Joe Biden vowed Friday evening to push forward with his nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, even after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) sunk the chances of her nomination succeeding on a strictly party-line vote.
Biden, speaking to reporters outside of Air Force One on Friday, said he would not pull Tanden’s nomination to head the OMB, according to Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Epstein. “I think we’re going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” added Biden.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki echoed the president’s comments, calling Tanden an “accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent budget director.”
“We look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties,” said Psaki in a statement.
The White House’s decision comes after Manchin ruled out voting to confirm Tanden for her history of making “overly partisan statements,” including making remarks about Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“I believe her overly 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,” said Manchin in statement Friday afternoon, also adding: “At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges our nation is facing.”
Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, will now need at least one Republican to support her during a confirmation vote, a possibility the president suggested on Friday evening could still happen, but the reality of which remains unclear.
In since-deleted tweets from the time of the Kavanaugh hearings, Tanden accused Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a Republican with a history of voting with Democrats in high-profile nomination fights, of treating Dr. Christine Blasey Ford terribly, and said the Maine Republican should be haunted by it “for the rest of her days,” according to CNN. Back in 2017, Tanden called Collins and then-GOP Senator Jeff Flake “criminally ignorant.”
When asked by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) about her language on social media during recent committee hearings, Tanden responded: “I recognize that 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 it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others, and I look forward to taking that burden, and I apologize to people on either the Left or Right who are hurt by what I’ve said.”
“Social media does lead to too many personal comments, and my approach will be radically different,” she added.
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