Senate

Schumer says he’s working to find votes to confirm Biden’s OMB pick

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday that he is working to try to find the votes to confirm Neera Tanden to be President Biden’s Office of Management and Budget director. 

“I am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be passed. I think she would be a very good OMB leader,” Schumer told reporters in New York. 

Tanden’s nomination was thrown into limbo on Friday when Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) announced that he could not support her. Manchin said that he was worried her previous tweets and statements “will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress” and the head of OMB.

In order to be confirmed to lead OMB, Tanden needs 50 votes, which would let Vice President Harris break the tie.

That means she could have been confirmed if every Democratic senator supported her. 

Manchin is the first Democratic senator to announce he would not support Tanden, who has faced fierce pushback from Republicans during two nomination hearings because of her previous tweets and statements. 

Tanden has apologized for her previous tweets, where, among other things, she compared Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to Voldemort and called Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “the worst.” Republicans have also drawn criticism for their focus on her tweets after many of the same lawmakers spent four years downplaying or ignoring tweets from former President Trump, who used his account to go after both Democrats and members of his own party. 

The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to hold a vote on Wednesday on whether to send her nomination to the Senate floor. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the committee chairman, has not said yet if he will support Tanden. 

No GOP senator has said, yet, that they will support Tanden, and most are expected to oppose her. Because of Manchin’s opposition, she’ll need the support of at least one Republican to be confirmed. 

Biden has indicated that he’s not pulling her nomination and defended Tanden late last week

“I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed,” Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews following a trip to the Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant in Michigan. 

Tags 50-50 Senate Bernie Sanders Biden nominee Budget Committee Charles Schumer Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin Mitch McConnell Neera Tanden Office of Management and Budget OMB Director Susan Collins
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