Senate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden

Senate Democrats on Tuesday made a fresh show of support for President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE's embattled nominee to lead the White House budget office, Neera TandenNeera TandenCapito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Senate backlog of Biden nominees frustrates White House Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare MORE.

Tanden's confirmation is on the rocks after Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-W.Va.) and a slew of centrist Republicans announced they would vote against her confirmation, citing harsh tweets she wrote as head of the Center for American Progress.

"The controversy about Neera is largely over her social media comments, which could be leveled at virtually all of us," Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Va.) said at a confirmation hearing for Shalanda Young to be the Office of Management and Budget deputy director.


At her own confirmation hearings, Tanden repeatedly apologized and expressed regrets for tweets that targeted both Republicans and progressive Democrats.

Kaine raised the prospect that Tanden was facing a double standard, given that nominees with similar or worse records had successfully been confirmed despite mean or harsh rhetoric.

"We faced so many nominees in the past administration that had really intemperate things to say on social media accounts, including about me," Kaine said.

"But they apologized, and when they apologized, their apologies were accepted by virtually all Republicans, and a lot of Democrats," he said.

Democrats have noted that the Biden nominees facing the toughest confirmation battles are people of color, including Tanden, Health and Human Services nominee Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBiden administration releases B in COVID-19 relief for providers White House plan backs Medicare drug price negotiation Nursing homes warn vaccine mandate could lead to staff shortages MORE and Interior nominee Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandHarris in Shanksville honors heroism, courage of Flight 93 passengers Environmental groups call for immediate restoration of national monuments shrunk by Trump Interior Department posts new lease sales a week after resumption announcement MORE (D-N.M.).


Without Manchin's support, Tanden would need to win at least one GOP vote to be confirmed. All eyes are on Alaska Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Trump endorses GOP challenger to Upton over impeachment vote MORE (R), who said she remained undecided after meeting with Tanden on Monday evening.

Some Democrats, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.), who chairs the budget committee and called Tanden's tweets against progressives "vicious," have yet to announce their positions on Tanden's confirmation.

Besides Kaine, several other senators on the committee went out of their way to express support for Tanden, including Democratic Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayConservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan Support the budget resolution to ensure a critical investment in child care Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama MORE (Wash.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSanders says spending plan should be .5T 'at the very least' Senators call on Taiwan for aid in automotive chip shortage Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (Mich.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight Manchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill MORE (Va.).

Young herself spoke up in defense of her would-be boss, saying they would make a "great team."

"I certainly think before this committee you saw Neera Tanden apologize profusely about the tweets. I think what you also saw is an expansive knowledge of various policy areas," she said.


In an uncomfortable moment at the hearing, Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) alluded to the fact that Young's name has been floated as a potential replacement in the event that Tanden's nomination falls.

"You may be more than deputy, you may be the sheriff," he said in an exchange about reducing fraudulent tax payments, adding, "I don't expect you to comment on that."

After a pause, Young replied, "Thank you, sir."