Biden nominees face hurdles to be approved by the Senate

Biden nominees face hurdles to be approved by the Senate

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has been in power for more than a month, but he has half the Cabinet, since the Senate has only confirmed nine of its 23 members and has at least one in check.

Biden himself regretted on Wednesday having so few of his nominees sitting around the Cabinet table.

By now, the majority of previous presidents had the full Cabinet or almost, but the blockade of the Republicans at the beginning of the mandate, the impeachment against Donald Trump and the weak Democratic majority have delayed its composition.

With Democrats holding 50 seats in the Senate, the same as Republicans, Biden cannot afford a single defection from his ranks in strategic voting, a delicate balance that will surely haunt him throughout his tenure.

In fact, it has been the Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, the most moderate of his party and whom many consider the man with the most power in the Senate, who has derailed, at least apparently, the first confirmation.


This is Neera Tanden, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton whom Biden has appointed as director of the United States Office of Management and Budget, a ministerial position.

Tanden has in his record dozens of inflammatory tweets against many of the Republican senators, who have taken his nomination personally, but also against some Democrats, such as the progressive Bernie Sanders.

Sanders, in fact, chairs one of the two committees that have to give the first green light to Tanden before the full Senate can do so and this Wednesday he suspended the planned vote considering that he “did not have the votes” to overcome it, a A bad omen for Clinton’s former adviser.

Sanders himself has not made public whether or not he will support her.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, this one requires a single dose.

Although the majority in the corridors of Congress consider Tanden’s confirmation dead, the White House has cast in his defense, has said that it does not have “plan B” and considers that there is still a possible way for his confirmation.

Sanders aside, the ball is now in the court of Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Lisa Murkowski, two of the more moderate voices in the Upper House still weighing what to do with Tanden.

While the White House negotiates with both, the number three of the Republicans in the Senate, John Cornyn, on Tuesday gave a “friend’s advice” to Biden by urging him to remove Tanden before she is defeated in a vote.

And many Democrats are also advocating behind closed doors to replace her with Shalanda Young, who had to be her number two.


The nominee to be Secretary of Health, Xavier Becerra, and the nominee as Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, are also on the tightrope, although the latter received this Wednesday the important support of Manchin, who had said days before that he was “undecided” .

Haaland would be the first person with native roots with a ministerial position and, if confirmed at the head of the Interior, would be in charge of managing federal lands that in many cases the Government took away from their ancestors.

A federal judge in the United States on Tuesday night indefinitely prohibited the administration of President Joe Biden from imposing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.

Republicans seem quite united against Haaland, whom they consider “radical” for her progressive ideals on the environment and in opposition to drilling for oil and gas on federal lands.

De Becerra, for his part, is not clear to his detractors that he supports a universal public health system known as “Medicare for All”, which, although not on Biden’s agenda, would put the lucrative medical business in the United States in trouble.

Biden promised during the campaign that he would work to govern with the support of the more moderate Republicans, but keeping his 50 senators in line is becoming a more pressing challenge for the new president.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.