President Biden Neera Tandon, standing amidst battles confirmed to stand by Xavier Becerra
President Biden stands behind a pair of cabinet pix facing Nehal Tanden – including Neera Tandon, her nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, and Javier Becerra, his secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services Pick includes – A growing number of senators have vowed to oppose his confirmation.
Tandon’s confirmation seems most at risk after several swing vote senators – including at least one Democrat – have announced plans to vote against his confirmation. The former president of the Liberal Center for American Progress was repeatedly engulfed in flames during his confirmation hearing, as Republicans pointed to hostile tweets posted against various lawmakers – many of which were removed late last year.
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During that hearing, Sen. Ron Portman, R-Ohio, exemplified by “some of the thousands of negative public statements” that Tandon has made. These included Sen. Susan Collins, R-Money, “Worst” and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-A “hoax”, saying that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” and referring to then Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K., Referring to the Harry Potter villain as “Moscow Mitch” and “Voldemort,”.
Portman said that even after the tweet removed by Tandon, there were still nine-page posts about Cruz that were still up.
“I wonder, in particular, how do you plan to attack you and make connections with members of Congress through your public statements?” Portman asked.
“I recognize the concern,” Tandon answered. “I regret a lot for my language and apologize – some of my previous language. I recognize that this role is a bipartisan role, and I know that I have to earn the trust of senators across the board. I am meeting this Will work very aggressively to complete. ” “
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Tandon said she hopes to work “in a bipartisan and non-partisan manner”, while acknowledging that “it is up to me to prove this to the committee and to the members.”
But after the hearing, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, DWV, said he would oppose his nomination, citing his tweet, and said his “extremist partisan statements had a toxic take on key working relationships among members of the board” And will have harmful effects. ” The next director of Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. “
“For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” Manchin said.
Manchin’s opposition meant that Tandon would need Republican support. But that attempt to woo a Republican was hampered when Collins also said on Monday that she would vote against Tandon — another blow to her confirmation.
“Congress should be able to rely on the OMB director to make countless decisions in an impartial manner,” Collins said in a statement on Monday. “Neera Tandon has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this important agency.”
But the White House still stands behind him, vowing not to pull his nomination, even though it is unclear how Tandon will garner enough votes.
White House press secretary Jane Saki said, “The president nominated her because she thought she would star.”
When asked if he still feels his confirmation is possible, Saki said: “We do.”
Meanwhile, another Biden pick is facing heightened scrutiny, as Becerra prepares for his confirmation hearing in the Senate on Tuesday as Republicans plan to focus on trying to torpedo their nomination is indicated. But they may also have a problem with Democrats: Manchin The office says He has not decided whether he will support Bakerra.
More than 100 conservatives sent memos to Republican members of Congress, outlining their concerns with Bakerra’s nomination, calling him “extremist”, which would carry a liberal agenda if confirmed.
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“Becerra has shown neither judgment, character, or respect for the human life necessary to lead an agency with such influence over the fundamental rights of all Americans,” he continued. “Under his watch, we believe that HHS – an agency that must protect the values of human life, dignity, and religious freedom – will be arms toward partisan and destructive ends.”
He said: “For all these reasons, we urge the Senate to strongly reject his confirmation.”
Conservative groups have also taken issue with HHS’s leading Conservative group amid a conservative epidemic, saying they have “no health care experience” and instead, a doctor or public health care specialist should head the department .
Biden Transition spokesman Andrew Bates defended Becerra, saying he has “decades of health care policy experience, leading the largest state department of justice in the country, expanding access to COVID therapies and providing opioid manufacturers Worked with Republicans and Democrats to take over. “
Bates said Becerra also has a “strong record of fighting low costs for patients”.
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“That’s why President Biden chose this tested, qualified leader to be at the forefront of the pandemic response and to help lower drug prices,” Bates said. “We look forward to their hearing and confirmation of the vote.”
And on Monday, Saki said during his briefing, Becerra has “helped play a role through the Affordable Care Act” and “brings the experience of health care policy to the table for decades.”
Sasaki pointed to Becerra’s work as California’s attorney general, saying he “struggled with his Republican counterparts to expand access to COVID treatments.”
Despite conservative opposition, the Biden transition team told Granthshala News that Becerra “wants to work in good faith with members of both parties in Congress.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s pick for Attorney General Judge Merrick Garland also appeared this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing. Garland was pressed on hot-button issues but committee lawmakers, including Republicans, indicated that he would be confirmed.
Granthshala News’ Megan Heaney, Brittany D. Lee and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.