Looks like the trainwreck that pretty much everyone predicted has arrived. Whose bright idea was it to pick political elbow-thrower Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget, anyway? Oh yeah.
Joe Manchin slid the knife into the nomination a few minutes ago, but Joe Biden can’t say he wasn’t warned all along:
"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."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 19, 2021
Here’s the full statement from Manchin:
JUST IN: Sen. Manchin says he opposes Neera Tanden's nomination to lead OMB:
"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 [OMB]." pic.twitter.com/szac37Xbq3
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) February 19, 2021
CNN’s Manu Raju wonders whether any Republicans will step up to save Tanden’s nomination. Which of the GOP caucus feels the need to defend the honor of the chief of the Center for American Progress, an outfit that routinely attacks Republicans across the board? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Unless I miss my guess, the sound that follows the question is the sound of one hand waving.
NBC suggests that Tanden’s apology for her earlier attacks might woo a vote or two across the aisle:
His statement is a major blow to her prospects in a Senate split between 50 Democratic members and 50 Republicans.
Without Manchin’s vote, she will need some GOP support to secure the majority needed for confirmation, which is uncertain given her history on social media of harsh criticism of prominent conservatives. She said during her confirmation hearings that she regrets her past tweets.
Yeah, well, good luck with that. If Manchin finds her record too “toxic,” don’t expect Republicans to contradict him — not for someone like Tanden. Why would they rescue her, or help rescue Biden from a faceplant of his own making?
OMB usually goes to people who have a track record either in Congress or working well with it, not someone who spent the previous eleven years castigating its members. If Biden owed Tanden a spot somewhere in his administration, he should have found one that doesn’t require Senate confirmation. Instead of considering that in a 50/50 Senate, Biden blithely appointed Tanden without apparently even doing a preliminary whip count among his own allies in the upper chamber.
And finally, this may well not be entirely about Tanden for Manchin. He’s taking heat from progressive activists for his refusal to get rid of the filibuster, and for his defense of the Byrd rule on the minimum-wage hike. This could be Manchin’s way of reminding them that they’re not the only ones who can play hardball.