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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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AOC Criticizes Manchin Over Plans to Vote Against Biden Cabinet Nominees

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has voiced he may against two Biden nominees, and has now been targeted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in a number of tweets; plus today’s top stories in Democratic politics.

AOC takes aim at Manchin as he plans to vote against two Biden nominees

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has expressed his concerns and opinions over two of President Joe Biden’s nominees. Manchin said he is undecided on Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), Biden’s nominee for Interior secretary, which quickly drew the ire of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Manchin also announced he will vote against Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

Manchin’s vote is critical for Democrats to approve Haaland

Manchin’s expressing that he had “remaining questions” about Haaland, whose confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set for Tuesday, drew a series of tweets from Ocasio-Cortez.

“Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet on Monday afternoon. “Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/ family separation. Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease?”

A few minutes later, AOC tweeted about Manchin again, writing: “@DebHaalandNM is a profound public servant and champion for working families. Her appointment as Sec of the Interior would be historic, and her leadership holds the promise of progress for our country. Call your Senator to support her confirmation.”

The Hill reported: “Manchin is a pivotal vote in the evenly divided Senate, with Democrats forced to find at least one alternate Republican vote in scenarios in which he votes ‘no.'”

Manchin’s plans a ‘no’ vote on Tanden

Manchin had already expressed last week that he plans on opposing the nomination of Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Manchin joins a group of Republican senators who also said on Monday they will oppose the appointment, including Susan Collins (R-MN) and, Biden’s special envoy on climate change, Mitt Romney (R-UT), the Patriots Gazette reported.

Manchin, in a statement, spoke out against Tanden’s previous controversial tweets, saying he believed Tanden’s, “overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

Biden admits he can’t make states vaccinate teachers, or anyone else

President Joe Biden has expressed his desire to vaccinate teachers in order to speed up the reopening of schools. But Biden’s presidential power only goes so far. According to a report by NBC, half of the states in the US aren’t prioritizing educators when it comes to vaccinations – and President Biden cannot force them to.

“I can’t set nationally who gets in line, when and first — that’s a decision the states make,” Biden said during a tour of a Pfizer plant in Michigan last Friday. “I can recommend.”

States retain control over public health and safety, under the powers of the Constitution, which includes deciding on how vaccines will be distributed within their borders.

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Ellis Logan