Senate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden

Senate Democrats on Tuesday made a fresh show of support for President BidenJoe BidenBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color MORE's embattled nominee to lead the White House budget office, 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.

Tanden's confirmation is on the rocks after Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinClose the avenues of foreign meddling Democrats see political winner in tax fight MSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' 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 Defense: Congress looks to rein in Biden's war powers | Diversity chief at Special Operations Command reassigned during probe into social media posts Congress looks to rein in Biden's war powers House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization 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 BecerraOver 500,000 people sign up for ObamaCare in special sign-up period Harris in difficult starring role on border Biden's HHS commits another M to ad campaign touting expanded health care coverage MORE and Interior nominee Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice Haaland return sets up Biden decision on Utah national monuments shrunk by Trump Biden hopes to boost climate spending by billion 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 MurkowskiTrump looms large over GOP donor retreat in Florida Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Biden-GOP infrastructure talks off to rocky start MORE (R), who said she remained undecided after meeting with Tanden on Monday evening.

Some Democrats, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' On The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists 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 MurraySchumer kicks into reelection mode Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act Senators eye rollback of Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (Wash.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowFive things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand electric vehicle charging tax credit Bottom line MORE (Mich.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerA bold fix for US international taxation of corporations Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Five ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington 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."