In a recent announcement, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin shared he would vote against President Joe Biden’s nominee for the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. She has already faced Republican resistance in her nomination and been accused of making toxic statements and tweets about numerous political figures.
Sen. Manchin said he opposed the nomination of Tandem because of her overly partisan statements. He wrote that it is important to have a 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 facing our nation,” he wrote.
Tanden has repeatedly made attacks on GOP lawmakers, such as calling Sen. Tom Cotton “a fraud” and that “Vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” referring to the Republican senator from Texas. She also called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “Voldemort” and “Moscow Mitch” while referring to Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh as “pathetic.”
Tanden has apologized for prior comments in front of Senate committees and said she regrets the language and takes responsibility for it. It is unclear whether her apologies will change the GOP’s opposition or save her nomination, but Brian Riedl, a former Portman aide, said it’s unlikely. “I don’t see any Republican, at this point, bailing out her nomination. She seems to have burned too many bridges. Lawmakers are human, too, and do not like to confirm people who insult them,” he said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who serves on the Budget Committee, called some of Tenden’s remarks “vicious attacks” against many of the people he worked with personally and was asked if she would take a different approach if confirmed to lead OMB. Tanden also trashed the 2016 Sanders presidential bid as Russia’s choice against her ally, Hillary Clinton. Sanders also raised concerns over Tandem soliciting millions of dollars in corporate donations at the Center for American Progress.
Sen. Manchin said he reviewed the public statements and tweets that were directed to colleagues on both sides of the aisle and believes the relationships between members would only grow more toxic. “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 facing our nation,” he wrote.
Manchin has been viewed as a critical swing vote on Tanden’s nomination, but President Biden remains hopeful, telling reporters “I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed.” Since the bipartisan opposition, Tanden has deleted more than 1,000 of her tweets. It’s one thing when you try to get canceled over a single post, but there are years of polarizing and extremely partisan messages stacked against this OMB nomination. She regrets “the language,” not the meaning.