Former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) voiced support for Neera Tanden, the embattled nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget who once referred to Flake as “criminally ignorant,” even after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would not vote to confirm her to the position due to “overly partisan statements” she has made in the past.
“Neera Tanden is smart, experienced and qualified to lead OMB. I hope she’s confirmed,” remarked Flake, who was recently censured by the Arizona state GOP. “We should always remember that there will be a Republican President in the future who will want to have his/her nominees confirmed.”
Neera Tanden is smart, experienced and qualified to lead OMB. I hope she’s confirmed. We should always remember that there will be a Republican President in the future who will want to have his/her nominees confirmed.https://t.co/2P1amqcIa6
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 20, 2021
With the Senate split 50-50, Tanden would have needed support from every Democrat in the Senate to be confirmed, if Republicans were to vote against her unanimously. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), however, has already said in a statement that he won’t vote to confirm Taden to the position:
I have carefully reviewed Nerra Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. 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. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.
As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. 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.
President Joe Biden said Friday evening that he’s not going to pull Tanden’s nomination, indicating that he’s looking for cross-party support. However, other Democrats and Republicans have not indicated how they would vote on Tanden.
Senator Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ), who holds the seat formerly occupied by Flake, has acted as a moderating force in her party on certain issues, such as raising the minimum wage through COVID-19 relief. She was also willing to break with her party at last year’s State of the Union, when she stood and gave applause to then-President Donald Trump.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has also not indicated how she plans to vote on the Tanden nomination. Like Flake, Tanden has also referred to Collins and “criminally ignorant,” and back in 2018, suggested that Collins should be haunted for “the rest of her days” for the way she treated Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh hearings.
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