Senate Democrats on Tuesday made a fresh show of support for President BidenJoe BidenSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Rural Americans are the future of the clean energy economy — policymakers must to catch up WHO official says it’s ‘premature’ to think pandemic will be over by end of year MORE‘s embattled nominee to lead the White House budget office, Neera TandenNeera TandenMurkowski says no decision after Tanden meeting The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump teases on 2024 run This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback MORE.
Tanden’s confirmation is on the rocks after Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Murkowski says no decision after Tanden meeting Ocasio-Cortez: wage only ‘socialist’ to those in ‘dystopian capitalist nightmare’ 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 KaineWarner: White House should ‘keep open additional sanctions’ against Saudi crown prince Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Biden administration to give Congress full classified briefing on Syria strikes by next week 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 BecerraOvernight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden vs. Trump, part II MORE and Interior nominee Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandPolitics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won’t defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Indigenous groups post billboards urging senators to confirm Deb Haaland 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 MurkowskiMurkowski says no decision after Tanden meeting Green New Deal’s 3 billion ton problem: sourcing technology metals The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump teases on 2024 run MORE (R), who said she remained undecided after meeting with Tanden on Monday evening.
Some Democrats, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on .9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax Sanders vows to force vote on minimum wage No. 2 Senate Democrat shoots down overruling parliamentarian on minimum wage 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 MurrayOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (Wash.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCongress holds candlelight vigil for American lives lost to COVID-19 Two men charged with making threatening calls to Michigan officials On The Money: Democrats make historic push for aid, equity for Black farmers | Key players to watch in minimum wage fight MORE (Mich.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump teases on 2024 run Sunday shows – Trump’s reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate Warner: White House should ‘keep open additional sanctions’ against Saudi crown prince 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.”