WASHINGTON – Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on Friday he would oppose Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, jeopardizing the prospects of a top candidate for President Joe Biden .
“I have carefully reviewed the public statements and tweets from Neera Tanden that were personally addressed to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” Manchin said in a statement.
“I believe his openly partisan statements will have a toxic and damaging impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Bureau of Management and Budget,” he said. For this reason, I cannot support his nomination. “
If confirmed, Tanden would be the first non-white woman to lead the federal budget office.
Biden told reporters later on Friday that he would not withdraw Tanden’s nomination in response to Manchin’s announcement.
“I think we will find the votes to confirm it,” he said.
His statement is a blow to his prospects in a Senate divided between 50 Democratic and 50 Republicans.
Tanden met with 35 senators, including Democrats and Republicans. This awareness began “moments after his appointment and continues next week,” said an official familiar with the confirmation process.
Tanden’s nominating team also worked outside of interest groups to lobby Senators on his behalf.
Without Manchin’s vote, she will need GOP support to secure the majority needed for confirmation, which is uncertain given her history on social media of harsh criticism of leading conservatives. She said during her confirmation hearings that she regretted her previous tweets.
“As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that permeates our politics. In this time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever to chart a new bipartisan path that helps solve the many serious challenges facing our nation, ”Manchin said.
The Senate has confirmed many candidates for Biden and has yet to reject any.