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Mounting confirmation battle sends warning sign to Biden

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 16.2%. 1 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 09: Neera Tanden, nominee for director of the Office and Management and Budget, speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on February 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. Tanden helped found the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization, and has held senior advisory positions in Democratic politics since the Clinton administration. (Photo by Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images)

Confirmation duels over Joe Biden's Cabinet picks have suddenly turned nasty, ringing alarm bells about the cliffhanger nature of a 50-50 Senate and bitter fights to come over the President's ambitious agenda.

(CNN)Confirmation duels over Joe Biden's Cabinet picks have suddenly turned nasty, ringing alarm bells about the cliffhanger nature of a 50-50 Senate and bitter fights to come over the President's ambitious agenda.

Growing intrigue over a trio of controversial presidential picks is also underscoring the power of individual senators such as Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, when the partisan balance is so evenly divided.

The nomination of Neera Tanden, Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, is in deep peril after Manchin jumped ship and a string of Republicans signaled they couldn't support her.

Sanders' supporters accused Tanden of being among Democratic elites who they believe stacked the party's nominating race against him and in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.

And he voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial -- in what was an unpleasant choice since his home state overwhelmingly supports the ex-President.

The Haaland nomination differs from the Tanden case since the House member from New Mexico is highly popular among most Democrats.

"We're very open to hearing her, and hopefully she'll have a good hearing," Manchin, a longtime supporter of fossil fuel industries in his home state, said Monday.

Ironically, the reputation for moderation and steady temperament that Obama thought might ease Garland's way through a Republican-led Senate to the high court helped him on Monday in his confirmation hearing.

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