IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Josh Lederman and Priscilla Thompson
528d ago / 3:55 PM UTC
'Sometimes I am misread': On bus tour, Buttigieg looks to pull back the curtain
ELKADER, Iowa — Forty-one hours into his first bus tour through Northeastern Iowa, Pete Buttigieg had done very little complaining.
After five town halls and another nine or so hours of questioning by the press, the South Bend mayor seemed more composed than when he’d started. But when a reporter asked whether voters view him as emotionally distant, it hit a nerve.
“Sometimes I am misread as being bloodless,”Buttigieg said, sitting back in an armchair as his bus rolled toward Elkader, Iowa, population 1,273.
He said it was irritating that the media acts as if his early work as a consultant defined his personality — “or like that I have a technocratic soul,” Buttigieg said. “I do not have a technocratic soul.”
Then he laid out his theory of leadership in terms that were, well, technical.
“If there’s a way to deal with a problem that can make everybody better off while making nobody worse off, then by definition it should be done, and it doesn’t really take a lot of courage or judgment,” Buttigieg said. “That’s the part of a politician’s job that should be automated.”
“I think you earn your paycheck in politics dealing with moral issues, not technical issues,” he added. “What do you do when there’s winners or losers? What do you do when one of our values collides with another? That’s why we have human beings.”
If Buttigieg senses a disconnect in how he’s publicly perceived, it may explain why he decided to rent a luxury bus, load it full of about a dozen reporters, liquor and candy, and drive around Iowa for four days — all on the record.
Despite massive fundraising and crowds that regularly dwarf those of his rivals, Buttigieg is struggling to break into the top tier in the Democratic race, a triumvirate comprising Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, with Buttigieg a distant fourth in most polls. The most recent survey in Iowa saw his support drop five points, to just 9 percent.
More than four months still separate the candidates from the first contest, the Iowa caucuses. But ultimately, if Buttigieg cannot convert the clear enthusiasm from rally-goers and donors into hard support from voters, it becomes the existential dilemma of his campaign.
So Buttigieg is returning to some of the guerrilla-style campaign tactics that transformed him from the unknown mayor of a midsize Indiana town into a household name, a fundraising phenomenon and a history-maker in the form of America’s first major openly gay presidential candidate.
It’s “radical transparency,” as Buttigieg’s media adviser Lis Smith calls it: a four-day rolling press conference, harkening back to the late Sen. John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express.”
Buttigieg’s advisers argue that by putting himself at the mercy of endless inquisition, he proves not only agility but also the authenticity of someone who speaks their mind so faithfully that they can’t be pushed off-message.
“Something absurd could happen in the next 90 seconds and you could ask me about it, and you’ll see how I think in real time,” Buttigieg said during a particularly long stretch on the bus.
In reality, it’s also a way to use the novelty of seeing a politician in unusual circumstances to generate massive amounts of media attention. The strategy is not unlike how Buttigieg propelled himself into the political conversation earlier this year by saying yes to just about every interview request — not just cable news and magazine profiles but also less obvious, potentially riskier choices like late-night talk shows, niche websites and TMZ.
“Just out of curiosity, who’s responsible for this?” Buttigieg said with a playful grin as he boarded the bus picked up a near-empty bottle of Bulleit bourbon that had been full when the bus pulled in to Waterloo the night before.
Yet if the hope was that the cozy intimacy of a bus would lead to deeper conversations and more intimate insights into the candidate, it seemed tempered by the candidate’s tendency to operate at the same measured tempo regardless of the venue.
As the bus ambled through Newton the evening Buttigieg’s tour started, there was all the polite awkwardness of a first date. Reporters lobbed policy questions they already knew the answers to, groping for more lighthearted topics like how many of his signature white shirts he’d brought on the trip (four, plus a single pair of jeans) and what Buttigieg would be doing if not for politics (“happily be living as a literary critic at a university”).
By day two, the obvious topics had been covered and the conversation descended into the more mundane: Buttigieg’s favorite road trip snacks, exercise regimen on the road, least favorite part about the campaign trail (“You miss home”). By the third day, Smith, his communications guru, seemed agitated.
“Can I just say something, guys? We’re all here on the bus. Ask whatever you want. Like, this works both ways,” Smith said. “If you guys keep asking the same questions over and over again, you’re going to get boring answers.”
As the blue-and-gold-wrapped bus rolled out of Waterloo on Monday, Buttigieg seemed to settle into a looser, more edifying style of reflection about himself and the state of the race. He weighed in on why Warren is gaining traction — “because she’s really good” — and sharpened his argument against Biden, without mentioning him by name.
“The part about the electability debate that I'm really trying to turn on its head is the idea that you need the most stable, familiar face to be elected,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t think we’d be here if people liked what they were getting out to the establishment, which means that sending in the establishment is a terrible way to try to win the election.”
Buttigieg has often cited former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod’s theory that holds that voters tend to seek the opposite of their current president — the “remedy,” not the “replica.”
As he fielded question after question on Iowa’s highways, the unanswerable one seemed to be whether that “opposites” theory still holds true in the era of President Trump: Do voters want a steady, “safe choice” as a counterweight to today’s chaos, or did Trump’s election prove Americans eager for a disruptor who will channel their frustrations?
“We’re so used to candidates that appeal to emotional stuff. He gave a more thoughtful presentation today,” said Jim Klosterboer, a 70-year-old from McGregor, after seeing Buttigieg speak for the first time in nearby Elkader. “I think it’s slow building because the emotional stuff isn’t there.”
“The charisma-type stuff,” chimed in his friend, Jay Moser, a retired pharmacist.
Klosterboer’s wife, Laurie, 67, disagreed.
“Well, he’s got charisma, personality,” the retired teacher said. “And in the White House, you want thoughtful intelligence, experience.”
NBC News' Charlie Gile contributed.
Share this -
20h ago / 6:44 PM UTC
Ralph Northam makes first endorsement of 2021 cycle — bucking his attorney general
WASHINGTON — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam endorsed state delegate Jay Jones for Virginia attorney general on Thursday, bucking incumbent Mark Herring who served with Northam and is seeking his third term.
The governor’s endorsement is the first he’s made for Virginia’s 2021 election cycle. And the choice to back Jones — who is young, Black and more progressive — could represent a wider shift in the direction of the Virginia Democratic Party.
“[I]t is time for a new generation of leaders to take the reins. Jay Jones has stood with me every step of the way in our journey to make Virginia a more just and equitable place to live. He has been my partner as we have worked to change our Commonwealth. He also understands the deep scars of racism and will represent the diversity of our Commonwealth,” Northam wrote in a statement.
Northam’s endorsement also raises eyebrows about his relationship with Herring. In 2019, Herring called for Northam's resignation after a yearbook picture surfaced alleging Northam was either in blackface or a Klu Klux Klan costume in the photo. Northam later revealed he wore blackface as a student.
However, days after the initial scandal, Herring revealed he had also worn blackface. He tried to clarify his calls for Northam to resign by saying it was Northam’s flip-flopping explanation of the yearbook photo that was problematic.
The governor resisted resignation calls and later pushed issues of racial justice and equity to the forefront of his administration. Democrats in Virginia passed legislation banning the death penalty and expanding voting rights. Northam has also been outspoken about changing the names of schools and highways that are named after confederate leaders, and has committed to removing confederate monuments in Richmond.
Northam has not yet made announcements on who he would endorse in the races for governor and lieutenant governor, but Northam served as lieutenant governor when former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was in office. McAuliffe is now a frontrunner in the Democratic primary.
The Virginia Democratic primary takes place on June 8.
Share this -
2d ago / 7:32 PM UTC
Chuck Grassley files FEC paperwork for possible 2022 re-election bid
Grassley, elected to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives in 1974 and then the Senate in 1980, is the oldest Republican currently serving in the Senate and would be 89 by Election Day of 2022.
The Iowa senator filed a new statement of candidacy with the FEC on Wednesday for the 2022 cycle, which allows him to kickstart his fundraising for a potential bid. Though the paperwork makes him an official candidate in the eyes of the FEC, it doesn't guarantee he'll actually run for an eighth term. Former Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue, who in January lost his Senate seat in a runoff to now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, announced last week he wouldn't launch another campaign just days after he filed paperwork with the FEC and tweeted he was considering a 2022 bid.
A handful of senators have already announced plans to retire at the end of 2022, with more potentially on the way.
Alabama’s senior GOP Sen. Richard Shelby announced last month he won’t seek re-election in 2022 after serving in Congress for over 40 years. And Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina have also said they won’t pursue re-election bids in 2022.
Two other Republican senators have not said if they'll run again in 2022: Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Johnson said in 2016 he would only serve two terms in the Senate but has not recently addressed whether he would seek a third one. Blunt told POLITICO earlier this year he had no timetable on deciding whether to run again.
Share this -
Frank Thorp V
2d ago / 2:53 PM UTC
Hawley ends his confirmation no-vote streak by backing Biden's pick to chair Council of Economic Advisers
WASHINGTON — After voting against all 12 of President Joe Biden's previous Senate-confirmable nominees, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., backed his first nomination on Tuesday, Cecilia Rouse, who the Senate confirmed as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by a wide margin.
He told NBC News last week that he didn't have an explicit strategy of opposing nominees, adding his test is that he hopes Biden "will nominate folks and pursue policies that will be good for working Americans and good for the middle of the country."
Share this -
3d ago / 5:45 PM UTC
Ethics watchdog says Rep. Palazzo may have improperly spent campaign, official funds
WASHINGTON — The Office of Congressional Ethics found there is "substantial reason to believe" Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., improperly gave special favors to his brother and misused campaign and official funds on a variety of expenses, including renovations to a riverfront home, according to a new report released Monday.
The nonpartisan OCE, an independent group that advises the House Committee on Ethics, voted unanimously to recommend lawmakers continue an investigation into Palazzo.
In a 47-page report, the OCE board laid out allegations of wrongdoing by Palazzo that mainly fall into two tranches — improper conduct related to Palazzo's brother, who worked for his campaign, and spending related to a river home he owned and listed as his official campaign headquarters.
Palazzo's office denied the allegations in a statement, arguing that his conduct was proper and that he will cooperate with the investigation.
While the board found that Palazzo's brother "provided at least some bona fide services to the campaign committee," it also alleged that "the work Kyle Palazzo performed may have not justified the salary he received." Campaigns must pay employees fair market value, and a failure to do can be seen as receiving (or giving) an improper campaign contribution. CQ Roll Call first reported on the potential wrongdoing in December.
The congressman's office is also accused of special treatment in helping his brother attempt to update his re-enlistment code with the Navy.
The home in question has been owned by Palazzo's family for about 20 years, the OCE board said. Palazzo himself bought it from his mother and a business associated with her in 2017. The report found the congressman's campaign paid Palazzo's LLC $60,000 in rent for the property, as well as another $22,000 in expenditures for things like landscaping and utilities.
The report claims there's "substantial reason to believe there was not a bona fide campaign need for the space and that the campaign committee did not pay fair market value for its actual use of the property" and that the upkeep expenses "more accurately represented campaign-funded improvements to Rep. Palazzo's personal property."
There are also other allegations related to Palazzo's use of his staff — that his congressional staff ran personal errands or campaign work during their official work hours.
Colleen Kennedy, Palazzo's communications director, said in a statement that he "welcomes the opportunity to work through this process with the House Committee on Ethics and will fully cooperate with the Committee to show that he has complied with all relevant rules and standards."
She called the matter "a direct result of false allegations made by a primary opponent and the Campaign Legal Center," the campaign finance watchdog group that first raised questions about Palazzo's spending.
Former Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., a former House Committee on Ethics member, is representing Palazzo, she added.
"Congressman Palazzo will continue to serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and he looks forward to having this matter concluded as soon as possible," Kennedy said.
In a statement, House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Ranking Member Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., acknowledged the referral from the OCE and noted that "the mere fact of conducting further review ... does not itself indicated that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee."
Share this -
Frank Thorp V and Ben Kamisar
4d ago / 1:26 AM UTC
McConnell says Senate GOP campaign arm will back Murkowski despite Trump's criticism
WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Monday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the official Senate GOP campaign arm, will back Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, for reelection in 2022 despite former President Donald Trump's push for the party to oppose those who voted against him during his second impeachment.
McConnell told the Congressional press pool in brief comments that the NRSC will "absolutely" back Murkowski's reelection and that he's not concerned Trump's opposition could hurt her ability to win another term. As the Senate GOP leader, McConnell plays a large role in setting the party's political strategy.
The NRSC's long-standing policy has been to support incumbents. But Trump has regularly threatened members of his party that he felt were not loyal enough to him, a dynamic that doesn't appear to have changed now that he's out of the White House.
During a Sunday speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee's annual event in Florida, Trump criticized Republicans who are "attacking me, and more importantly the voters of our movement," before
"The Democrats don't have grand-standers like Mitt Romney, Little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey," Trump said of Republican senators who voted for his conviction.
It's far from the first time Trump and Alaska's senior senator have locked horns. She called on him to resign in the wake of the attack on the Capitol earlier this year, questioning whether she wanted to continue in the Republican Party if it's "become nothing more than the party of Trump."
Murkowski has deep roots in Alaska politics. She has served in the Senate since 2002, winning three elections to the seat after being appointed that year to fill her father's term when he left to serve as governor.
She also has experience weathering a divided party — after losing the Republican primary in 2010, she won a write-in campaign to secure reelection.
Plus, Murkowski is running in a non-traditional style of primary next year, a ranked-choice vote where all candidates will be on the same ballot, regardless of party, and the top-four candidates move on to a general election.
Share this -
4d ago / 9:31 PM UTC
Elizabeth Warren and two House Democrats introduce wealth tax bill
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., rolled out a wealth tax bill on Monday with two House Democrats, aimed at raising trillions of dollars to help finance investments in infrastructure, clean energy and other Democratic priorities.
The bill would impose an annual 2 percent tax on households with a net worth above $50 million, and an additional 1 percent annual tax on assets above $1 billion.
Warren, who was recently added to the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled her legislation with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the leader of the Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
"It is time for a wealth tax in America," Warren told reporters on Monday. "A two cent wealth tax would just help level the playing field a little bit, and create the kind of revenue that would let us build back better, as Joe Biden says."
The Massachusetts senator made the wealth tax a primary issue in her 2020 presidential campaign.
Warren said she has spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., about the legislation but wouldn't say if they support her bill.
"You should ask them," she said. "I don't want to speak for them."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki demurred Monday when asked if President Joe Biden favored a wealth tax. Psaki said his priority now is Covid-19 relief and that he has "a lot of respect for Sen. Warren" but will consider how best to tax the wealthy at a later time.
Share this -
Carol E. Lee and Leigh Ann Caldwell
7d ago / 1:16 PM UTC
Cruz received a special ‘welcome back’ message in Senate gym
Sen. Ted Cruz’s colleagues had a little fun at the Texas Republican’s expense when he returned to Washington this week following his infamous trip to Cancun.
When senators arrived at the Senate gym on Wednesday morning, they found that one of them had taped memes on the lockers welcoming Cruz home and showing him in the short-sleeve polo shirt, jeans and Texas-flag mask that he had at the airport, according to two people familiar with the prank. “Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!” was the “welcome back” message typed at the top of the color printouts, one of which was viewed by NBC News.
The rendering featured a manipulated photo of Cruz from his well-documented trip to Mexico, dragging his luggage across an arctic landscape while holding a tropical cocktail garnished with a slice of fruit in his other hand. He is shown walking toward an image of a masked Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. with his arms crossed and wearing striped, knitted gloves — a pose famously captured during January’s inauguration.
The memes were taken down sometime Wednesday, according to the people familiar with them.
It's unclear whether Cruz saw the memes and a spokesperson for the senator did not respond to a request for comment.
The Senate gym is only used by current and former senators. The Senate Rules Committee hadn’t received a complaint about the prank, according to a committee aide.
Cruz has been widely mocked on social media — and criticized in his home state — for hopping on a plane last week to Cancun for a family trip while millions of Texans were without water and power in frigid temperatures. He returned to Texas after the controversy erupted and said the trip was a “mistake.”
Mike Memoli contributed to this report.
Share this -
Ed Demaria and Melissa Holzberg
8d ago / 7:00 PM UTC
Meet the Republican senator who's voted against every Biden nominee so far
WASHINGTON — Just one Republican senator has voted against each of President Biden's Cabinet nominees so far: Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.
And Hawley's "nay" voting record on each of the 10 nominees who have had a vote is particularly visible given how bipartisan the majority of the confirmations have been.
Hawley was just one of:
Two senators who voted against Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's confirmation
Seven senators who voted against Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Seven senators who voted against VA Secretary Denis McDonough
10 senators who voted against the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines
13 senators who voted against Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
15 senators who voted against Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
Biden's four other confirmed Cabinet members (Secretary of State Antony Blinken, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm) were all confirmed with closer margins.
Hawley may be one of many Republicans eyeing a potential 2024 presidential bid. He told NBC News' Frank Thorp and Garrett Haake that he didn't have a strategy of opposition.
"I just I hope that he will nominate folks and pursue policies that will be good for working Americans and good for the middle of the country," Hawley said. "So, that's my only test."
Hawley said he was undecided on how he'd vote on Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland.
New York Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand boasted of having “the best voting record against Trump nominees of anyone else running for president” on the trail in 2019. She voted against 20 of 22 nominations for former President Trump's original Cabinet. She casted the only "no" vote against former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Five other Democratic senators voted against at least 80 percent of Trump’s original Cabinet nominees, and four of those senators also sought the Democratic presidential nomination: Sens., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
Several of Biden's Cabinet nominees are still awaiting a vote:
Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland
HHS nominee Xavier Becerra
Interior nominee Deb Haaland
Education nominee Miguel Cardona
Commerce nominee Gina Raimondo
Labor nominee Marty Walsh
HUD nominee Marcia Fudge
EPA nominee Michael Regan
SBA nominee Isabel Guzman
U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai
And of course embattled OMB Director nominee Neera Tanden.
Share this -
3d ago / 3:32 PM UTC
Virginia Republicans decide on drive-up convention to pick 2021 statewide nominees
WASHINGTON — The Republican Party of Virginia on Tuesday night approved a plan to nominate its gubernatorial candidate by a convention – instead of a primary – in what’s shaping up to be the marquee general-election race of 2021,
The convention will take place on May 8 at conservative Liberty University, whereby convention delegates will drive up and cast their pick for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general under ranked-choice voting.
By contrast, Democrats will be selecting their nominee at the ballot box, through a statewide primary contest on June 8.
This drive-up GOP convention at Liberty University is the same process that took down then-incumbent Congressman Denver Riggleman, R-Va., who lost the GOP nomination last year to conservative Bob Good; Good ended up winning the general election and now represents Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.
But this time around, the conventional wisdom is that this convention process is a bad outcome for the most controversial GOP candidate in the field: state Sen. Amanda Chase.
Chase denounced the process after its approval, arguing relying on a process that relies on people driving from all over the state to Lynchburg will disenfranchises voters.
“I would like the VA GOP State Central Committee to answer a question. 1,962,430 voters voted for President Trump in Virginia. How are you going to accommodate these people who will want to cast a vote for our statewide candidates?” she tweeted.
The assumption in this multi-candidate GOP field — which not only includes Chase, but also House Delegate Kirk Cox, businessman Pete Snyder and former Carlyle Group executive Glenn Youngkim — is that the percentage of the field a candidate needs to win could be as low as 25 or 30 percent. That could leave the door open for someone like Chase if the rest of the field splits the vote.
But it will likely be more difficult for Chase to win a process where she’ll need more than 50 percent, even at a convention at Liberty University, where the former university president has been a stalwart backer of former President Donald Trump and has hired a handful of Trump allies in recent months.
But the convention process also has a downside for Republicans trying to win back the governor’s mansion: It encourages less participation. And since Virginia is an open-primary state – where primary voters can request either a Democratic or Republican ballot – the only option that primary voters will have on June 8 is on the Democratic side.
Share this -
10d ago / 3:25 PM UTC
Perdue opts out of 2022 Senate race after runoff loss
WASHINGTON — Former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., announced Tuesday he will not join the field for the 2022 Senate race in the state — a surprising move coming a week after he publicly signaled he was considering a run.
Perdue told supporters in an email that he and his wife, Bonnie, "have decided that we will not enter the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022." He called the decision "personal," not "political," and said he plans to "do everything" to help the eventual Republican nominee defeat Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., in the fall.
There were two runoff elections for Georgia's Senate seats in January because Georgia election law mandates runoffs between the top-two vote-getters if no candidate wins a majority of the vote on Election Day. Perdue lost his runoff to now-Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., by just over 1 percentage point in January.
That race was for a full term, so Ossoff is not on the ballot in 2022. But Warnock, who defeated then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., by 2 percentage points, is on the ballot, because his race was a special election to fill the remainder of the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who retired in 2019.
On top of Democrats winning both Georgia Senate seats, President Joe Biden won the state narrowly during the presidential election. All of those races saw record-breakingturnout.
Perdue declared in his statement that the 2020 election cycle proved that "Georgia is not a blue state" and "the more Georgians that vote, the better Republicans do."
"These two current liberal US Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians," he said.
While Perdue is passing on a bid this cycle, Loeffler continues to float a comeback bid against Warnock. She told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she's starting a group to mobilize Republican voters in Georgia and that a possible Senate bid is "certainly on the table."
Share this -
Leigh Ann Caldwell
11d ago / 9:05 PM UTC
Manchin undecided on supporting Deb Haaland for Interior
WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is undecided on whether he'll support Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland, Manchin's spokesperson Sam Runyon told NBC News.
Haaland, a Democratic congresswoman representing New Mexico, would be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency and will testify before Manchin's committee on Tuesday. Haaland has been a fierce public lands defender, and has been critical of fossil fuel energy development on those lands.
Manchin “hasn’t made a decision on Haaland yet. He’s looking forward to her hearing tomorrow,” Runyon said.
Manchin's support will be critical for Haaland's nomination, as Democrats can't afford to lose any one of their members' votes before needing Republican Senators to confirm a Cabinet nominee. Manchin flexed his political muscle in the nomination process when he announced he wouldn't support Neera Tanden to be Office of Management and Budget director, likely sinking her nomination.
When Haaland testifies on Tuesday, in addition to Manchin, she will also face a committee stacked with western-state Republicans who strongly support energy development. At least two Committee members, Sens. John Barasso, R-Wyo., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., have expressed reservations about Haaland.
After Barrasso spoke with Haaland on the phone, Barrasso said, "energy development on our nation’s public lands is essential to Wyoming’s economy and America’s global energy dominance. The United States is a world energy powerhouse. We need to act like one.”
And Daines called Haaland “radical” and pointed to her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and her support of the Green New Deal as likely reasons to oppose her. Daines also threatened to try and block her confirmation.