Biden Stands Behind Budget Nominee Despite Manchin Opposition

President Joe Biden said he will not withdraw his nomination of Neera Tanden for budget director after Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, announced he would vote against her.

“I think we’re going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” Biden said at Joint Base Andrews on Friday evening after returning from a trip to Michigan.

Shortly before that, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that Tanden was “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.”

Tanden, who has led the liberal think-tank Center for American Progress, likely cannot afford to lose any of the 50 Democrats and independents in the Senate in the face of anticipated strong Republican opposition over some of her sarcastic social-media postings.

“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. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said in a statement.

During her nomination hearing before the Senate Budget Committee, Tanden was chastised by Chairman Bernie Sanders for her past tweets and she pledged to refrain from making personal attacks -- such as those she had directed at Sanders in the past.

If Tanden’s nomination fails, that could further delay the development of Biden’s fiscal 2022 federal budget proposal, which is already behind schedule and which is the first step in the funding process for the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The OMB director is also in charge of promulgating regulations and acts as a liaison between the White House and federal agencies.

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