White House Chief of Staff Ron KlainRon KlainCollins: Biden’s .9T coronavirus package won’t get any Senate GOP votes Capito asks White House to allow toxic chemicals rule to proceed White House press aide resigns after threatening Politico reporter MORE said he “respects” Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Haaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing Democrats in standoff over minimum wage MORE’s (D-W.Va.) right to oppose the nomination of Neera TandenNeera TandenHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE to lead the Office of Management and Budget amid increasing signs she won’t be confirmed in the Senate.
Manchin, as well as a number of centrist Republicans, have come out against Tanden’s nomination over past tweets offering fiery criticism of senators on both sides of the aisle, saying confirming her would diminish President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE’s calls for bipartisanship and civility.
“He is a senator who does believe we need to have more civility, more cooperation between the parties, that’s his objection to Neera Tanden. I obviously disagree with him, I think Neera would actually add to that dialogue in Washington, I actually think she’d do a good job. Notwithstanding the tweets, her history of her work shows that,” Klain said on MSNBC.
“But look, Sen. Manchin, he doesn’t answer to us at the White House. He answers to the people of West Virginia. He believes this is the right vote for him,” he added. “I respect Joe Manchin’s right to cast these votes. He’s an independent-minded senator, that’s what he’s going to do. We at the White House, we’re going to make our case to him and all the other Democrats and Republicans in the Senate on these key votes.”
“He is a senator who does believe we need to have more civility, more cooperation between the parties – that’s his objection to Neera Tanden. I obviously disagree with him,” WH Chief of Staff Klain says about Sen. Manchin’s opposition to Neera Tanden for OMB chief. pic.twitter.com/a6w0az8KxR
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 25, 2021
The tepid praise for Manchin comes after the West Virginia Democrat, who’s long cultivated a reputation for having an independent streak, said he would oppose Tanden’s nomination. A number of other Republican swing votes soon followed.
While the White House disagrees with Manchin over his vote on Tanden, Klain noted that it still needs to maintain a positive relationship with the senator to help advance its other priorities, including a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour that Manchin opposes.
“We obviously disagree, but we’ve been fortunate to have his support on other nominations obviously, we’re obviously working hard to get his support for the American Rescue Plan,” Klain said.
In a 50-50 Senate, Tanden now needs at least one Republican to vote to confirm her, an increasingly tough ask as centrist Republicans say she’s lost their support.
In some of the past tweets that have drawn rebukes, Tanden compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat The Patriot Party already exists — it’s the Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) to Voldemort. In another, she said that vampires had more heart than Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Law enforcement officials blame Pentagon ‘reluctance’ to deploy National Guard in first hearing on Capitol attack | Watchdog report finds Pentagon didn’t fully evaluate border deployment requests | Biden’s UN ambassador confirmed Top cops deflect blame over Capitol attack Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (R-Texas). She has called Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMicrosoft, FireEye push for breach reporting rules after SolarWinds hack On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill MORE (R-Maine) “the worst” and referred to then-Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable On The Money: What’s next for Neera Tanden’s nomination Manchin to oppose Biden’s pick of Neera Tanden MORE (R-Ariz.) as “criminally ignorant.”
Tanden has recently apologized for the tweets.
The White House has thus far stuck by Tanden, dismissing speculation Wednesday that it was considering backup options should her nomination fail.
“Well, there’s one nominee to lead the budget department; her name is Neera Tanden, and that’s who we’re continuing to fight for,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiHillicon Valley: Companies urge action at SolarWinds hearing | Facebook lifts Australian news ban | Biden to take action against Russia in ‘weeks’ Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids Ocasio-Cortez criticizes opening of migrant facility for children under Biden MORE said Wednesday.