On The Money: What’s next for Neera Tanden’s nomination
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THE BIG DEAL—BREAKING: Manchin to oppose Biden’s budget director pick Neera TandenNeera TandenBiden won’t pull Tanden nomination, says she’ll get the votes On The Money: What’s next for Neera Tanden’s nomination Manchin to oppose Biden’s pick of Neera Tanden MORE: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBiden pick for surgeon general made over M on COVID-19 consultations and speaking events: report Sanders says he’s ‘confident’ increase to minimum wage will stay in coronavirus package House panel unveils .9T relief package MORE (D-W.Va.) said Friday that he would oppose Neera Tanden’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.”
The Hill’s Niv Elis updates us here.
Why this could end her nomination:
- Tanden was already looking at a narrow path through the Senate, which is divided evenly between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.
- Most GOP senators were expected to vote against her given her fierce attacks on Republicans for years leading up to her nomination.
- A Democratic defection means Tanden needs at least one Republican supporter to be confirmed, which is far from a sure bet.
How she got here: Tanden has repeatedly apologized for her past tweets, some of which compared Republicans to evil fictional characters.
What’s next for Tanden: She’s going to need at least one Republican to come to her rescue if Manchin is the only Democratic defection, but it’s not clear that he will be. Sanders has not said if he’s voting for Tanden, and another moderate could still come out against her.
Either way, the White House isn’t backing down from her nomination.
“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,” said White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiSunday shows preview: CDC school reopening guidance stirs debate; Texas battles winter freeze Biden to meet virtually with Canada’s Trudeau on Tuesday Iran poses early test for Biden’s diplomacy-first approach MORE in a statement.
Projecting confidence: President BidenJoe BidenClose to 70 dead in states with severe winter weather: report Two more deaths confirmed in Louisiana related to severe winter weather Lawyer who filed suit to reverse 2020 election results referred by judge for discipline MORE also predicted “we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed,” speaking to reporters on Friday evening.
LEADING THE DAY
17 state attorneys general call for canceling $50K in student loan debt: A coalition of 17 state attorneys general is calling for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers.
The Democratic attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, sent a letter to congressional leaders on Friday supporting resolutions that call on President Biden to use executive action to forgive outstanding student loans.
“The existing repayment system for Federal student loans provides insufficient opportunity for struggling borrowers to manage their debts or recover from the current economic crisis,” the attorneys general wrote. “Broad cancellation of Federal student loan debt will provide immediate relief to millions who are struggling during this pandemic and recession, and give a much-needed boost to families and our economy.”
The Hill’s Jordan Williams has more here.
The background: Progressive Democrats have been trying to ramp up pressure on Biden to wipe out $50,000 per borrower since he unequivocally ruled out doing so during a CNN town hall this week.
ON TAP NEXT WEEK
- The House Budget Committee holds a markup of the budget resolution that will be used to advance the Democratic stimulus plan at 1 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m.
- A House Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on raising the minimum wage at 10 a.m.
- The Senate Small Business Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Small Business Administrator-designate Isabella Guzman at 2:30 p.m.
- A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on racial discrimination in lending at 3 p.m.
NEXT WEEK’S NEWS, NOW
- Fed Chair Jerome Powell is testifying before Congress for the first time since Biden’s inauguration. Expect to hear plenty of support for going big on fiscal stimulus, ruling out rate hikes any time soon, and questions on what the Fed can do to foster racial equity and fight climate change.
- Senators will be vetting four of Biden’s nominees at confirmation hearings next week (see above), so that will give us a sense of if any will face trouble getting through the process.
GOOD TO KNOW
ODDS AND ENDS
- The U.K.Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Friday that Uber drivers are “workers” for the company, rather than self-employed, a distinction that now forces the ride-sharing company to evaluate payments and benefits to its U.K. drivers.