Democratic U.S. senator opposes Biden budget pick, confirmation in doubt

FILE PHOTO: Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies during a Senate Committee on the Budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced on Friday that he would oppose President Joe Biden’s nomination of Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, which could sink the nomination.

Tanden has been criticized by Republicans over her past harsh comments on social media, such as calling Mitch McConnell, the party’s leader in the Senate, “Moscow Mitch” and saying “vampires have more heart than (Senator) Ted Cruz.”

Many Democrats scoffed at such concerns, noting near-unanimous Republican support for former President Donald Trump, who was accused of inciting a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol partly via inflammatory comments on Twitter and was known for blasting those he saw as opponents – particularly women – as “nasty” or criminals who should be locked up.

Manchin cited Tanden’s “public statements and tweets” in his statement. “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.

If every Senate Democrat supported Tanden, she could have been confirmed without Republican votes since Democrats control 50 seats in the chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie.

However, Manchin’s opposition means Tanden must be supported by a least one Republican to be confirmed.

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