Schumer says he is working with Biden 'to find the extra votes' to confirm Neera Tanden
Posted February 21, 2021 3:23 p.m. EST
CNN — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday he is working with President Joe Biden to gather the support needed to confirm Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
"I am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be passed," he told reporters during a news conference in New York, mentioning Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who said last week he would not vote for Tanden. "I think she would be a very good OMB leader," Schumer added.
Tanden's confirmation to lead the office is in jeopardy after Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, said Friday that he would vote against her, making her confirmation unlikely since Republicans resist her nomination.
Biden has said he does not intend to pull Tanden's nomination and that he believes they will find the votes to get her confirmed.
She has met with 35 senators on both sides of the aisle so far, a source involved with the confirmation process told CNN on Saturday. "That outreach, which began moments after she was named, is continuing into next week," the source said. She is expected to continue her outreach to lawmakers this week.
Schumer holds a narrow majority in a 50-50 Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber, but without Manchin's support, Democrats won't have the votes on their own.
Manchin said Tanden's comments on social media about Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, had led him to doubt she was the right fit. Tanden apologized for her comments during a Senate confirmation hearing earlier this month.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday that 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."