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 (OMB), which could end her chances of assuming the high-profile position.
Tanden, who has led the liberal think-tank Center for American Progress, likely can not afford to lose any of the 50 Democrats and independents in the Senate in the face of anticipated strong Republican opposition to her over her past caustic social-media postings. It is highly unlikely any Republican will vote to confirm her because of comments she's made on social media attacking various Republican members of the Senate. "For this reason, I can not support her nomination". She's been among Biden's more controversial Cabinet nominees.
Tanden was also grilled by Sen.
Manchin cited Tanden's "overtly partisan statements", which mostly came in the form of caustic tweets, as his reason for opposing what would be the first South Asian women ever to hold the top OMB job. Rob Portman told her at her confirmation hearing that he found nine pages of tweets of her attacking Texas Republican Sen.
Manchin's vote is critical to Tanden's nomination, as the partisan power balance hangs at an even 50-50, which means she would need at least one Republicans to vote in favor of her confirmation. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the committee's chairman, was noncommital on Tanden's nomination in a Friday evening CNN interview, saying he would talk to Tanden "early next week".
"Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties", the White House statement read.
In response to questions from senators about these comments, Tanden said said "I feel terribly about [the comments], I must have meant them, but I regret them".
'Your attacks were not just made against Republicans. There were vicious attacks made against progressives, people who I have worked with, me personally, ' he told her.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC read one of them, which referenced the bitter 2016 nomination fight between Hillary Clinton and Sanders.
In addition to calling Cruz a vampire, she once referred to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "Voldemort" from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
Last week, former President Donald Trump called McConnell a "dour, sullen", "unsmiling political hack" and accused McConnell of "destroying" the GOP'.