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Democratic U.S. senator opposes Biden budget pick, confirmation in doubt

·1 min read

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Senator JoeManchin announced on Friday that he would oppose President JoeBiden's nomination of Neera Tanden to head the Office ofManagement and Budget, which could sink the nomination.

Tanden has been criticized by Republicans over her pastharsh comments on social media, such as calling Mitch McConnell,the party's leader in the Senate, "Moscow Mitch" and saying"vampires have more heart than (Senator) Ted Cruz."

Many Democrats scoffed at such concerns, notingnear-unanimous Republican support for former President DonaldTrump, who was accused of inciting a deadly attack on the U.S.Capitol partly via inflammatory comments on Twitter and wasknown for blasting those he saw as opponents - particularlywomen - as "nasty" or criminals who should be locked up.

Manchin cited Tanden's "public statements and tweets" in hisstatement. "I believe her overtly partisan statements will havea toxic and detrimental impact on the important workingrelationship between members of Congress and the next directorof the Office of Management and Budget," he said.

If every Senate Democrat supported Tanden, she could havebeen confirmed without Republican votes since Democrats control50 seats in the chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris canbreak a tie.

However, Manchin's opposition means Tanden must be supportedby a least one Republican to be confirmed.(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)