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Manchin to oppose Biden's pick of Neera Tanden

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike White House noncommittal on 'Plan B' push to add wage increase to relief bill MORE (D-W.Va.) said Friday that he would oppose Neera TandenNeera TandenOn The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II MORE's nomination to head the White House budget office, potentially sinking her Senate confirmation.

Manchin cited Tanden's harsh tweets about Republicans as the reason for his opposition.

"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. "For this reason, I cannot support her nomination."

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Most Republicans were already expected to oppose Tanden over her rhetoric, and it may be difficult for a GOP senator to back her now that Biden will need at least one Republican to back her to get her confirmed. 

The Senate is divided 50-50 between the parties, with Vice President Harris breaking tie votes. But Democrats would only have 49 votes for Tanden if all Republican senators and Manchin oppose her.

Tanden, a former staffer to then-Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE (D-N.Y.), built a reputation for partisan warfare on Twitter as the head of the Center for American Progress.

Republicans in two confirmation hearings last week skewered Tanden for her previous tweets, many of which she recently deleted.

She has repeatedly apologized for the tweets, some of which compared Republicans to evil fictional characters. 

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"I regret that language and take responsibility for it," she said at one of the committee hearings, promising to take a different tone as budget chief.

In her tweets, Tanden compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) to Voldemort, said that vampires had more heart than Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTomi Lahren says CPAC attendees clearly want Trump to run in 2024 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' MORE (R-Texas), called Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Why the 'Never-Trumpers' flopped Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (R-Maine) "the worst," and referred to then-Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFormer GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Klain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' MORE (R-Arizona) as "criminally ignorant."

Tanden's defenders accused Republicans complaining about rhetoric on Twitter of hypocrisy, citing former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE's incendiary comments on the social networking site before his account was suspended.

Trump referred to various critics as "crazy," "corrupt," "little," and "low-IQ," among other rude nicknames and insults.

"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," Biden press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Biden administration to give Congress full classified briefing on Syria strikes by next week MORE said in a statement distributed to reporters in response to Manchin's remarks.

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Republicans have noted that Tanden's targets were not limited to Republicans and that she also went after some progressives, particularly Clinton's 2016 presidential primary rival Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders, now chair of the Senate Budget Committee, chaired one of the confirmation hearings, and asked Tanden to reflect on comments he called "vicious."

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) took it a step further, saying she'd called Sanders "everything but an ignorant slut," a reference to a 1970s "Saturday Night Live" sketch.

In a CNN interview Friday afternoon, Sanders was non-committal about supporting Tanden's nomination, saying that he would speak to her next week about "what she wants to do." Sanders reiterated that he was less concerned with her previous rhetoric than her future actions.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. Brett Samuels contributed.