In a brief statement, the moderate West Virginia Democrat said that Tanden’s comments on Twitter about Republican colleagues, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, had led him to doubt she was the right fit.
“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. 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.”
Manchin’s announcement means that unless a Republican senator comes forward to support Tanden’s nomination, it’s unlikely that she will be confirmed for the job. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has a narrow majority in a 50-50 Senate. Because Democrats control the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties, but without Manchin’s support, Democrats won’t have the votes on their own.
“As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation,” Manchin said.
This story has been updated.