Biden nominates Manchin's wife to co-chair Appalachian Regional Commission

President BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE is nominating Gayle Manchin, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinHouse Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time Biden dispatches Cabinet members to sell infrastructure plan On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban MORE’s (D-W.Va.) wife, to be co-chair of a federal commission that works with states to strengthen the economy in the Appalachian region, the White House announced Friday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gayle Manchin will co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership agency established in 1965 through which the federal government works with 13 states and 420 counties across the Appalachian region to help invest in communities and spur job creation. 

Manchin, one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate, has major influence over Biden’s agenda in a 50-50 Senate where Democrats have the slightest of edges over Republicans only with Vice President Harris casting tie-breaking votes. 


Manchin’s opposition to Biden’s first nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera TandenNeera TandenFive ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet White House delays release of budget plan MORE, for instance, ultimately led Tanden to withdraw from consideration as the White House came to the realization they would not have the votes to confirm her.

Winning over Manchin also proved critical for Biden in getting his $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package across the finish line earlier this month by using budget reconciliation. Democrats will face major hurdles in passing most other pieces of major legislation, however, due to the filibuster, where 60 votes are needed to end debate on bills. 

The White House on Friday cited Gayle Manchin’s career as an educator and her service as the first lady of West Virginia, when Manchin was the state’s governor from 2005 to 2010, as reasons for her nomination. Gayle Manchin also previously served as president of the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Office of Education and the Arts.

She would replace the commission's current federal co-chairman, Tim Thomas, who was nominated by former President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE to the position and confirmed in 2018. The commission's current state co-chairman is Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D).