Democrats might have the upper-hand in the U.S Senate, but that power is on shaky ground, as President Joe Biden realized this week that simply one Democrat breaking with the party on a Cabinet nomination can throw a major wrench into the proverbial gears.
According to Breitbart, Neera Tanden, Biden’s controversial nominee to fill the role as the head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) might not land the coveted gig after all, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has signaled that he will not be voting in favor of confirming her.
It was on Friday that Manchin shook up the White House with his bombshell announcement saying that he doesn’t feel like voting in favor of confirming her is the right move, citing her past history on social media as one of his primary concerns.
“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,” Manchin said in a statement.
Of course, the first rule of hardball politics is to never admit defeat, so when Biden found out about Manchin’s statement during a flight on Air Force One, he told reporters when he landed that he’ll move forward with Tanden as his nominee, expressing confidence that he’ll find a way to make her appointment happen.
“I think we’re going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” Biden said.
The White House immediatley backed the president’s confidence in a statement praising Tanden’s record, suggesting that she’s a perfect fit for the job and that they’ll continue to push to see that she’s nominated.
“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
If Manchin sticks to his guns, that means the White House will have no choice but to engage in some political horse-trading across the aisle with at least one Republican who would be open to voting for Tanden’s confirmation.
If they take that road, it’ll certainly be interesting to see which Republican thinks they have the political street cred to eventually overcome the inevitable party backlash from siding with the White House on the matter.