Gayle Manchin: Biden nominates wife of key Democratic senator to chair economic agency

Conservative Democrat Joe Manchin often swing vote in tied Senate

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 26 March 2021 16:02
<p>Joe and Gayle Manchin, pictured as he is sworn into office in 2019</p>

Joe and Gayle Manchin, pictured as he is sworn into office in 2019

Leer en Español

Joe Biden is nominating Gayle Manchin, the wife of key conservative Democratic senator Joe Manchin, to lead a federal commission that works with states to strengthen the economy in the Appalachian region.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ms Manchin will co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership agency established in 1965 in which the federal government partners with 13 states to invest in local communities and create jobs.

Representing West Virginia, Senator Manchin has major influence over the president’s agenda as a key swing voter in the 50-50 tied Senate.

Without his vote, and with slim chance of support from across the aisle, Vice President Kamala Harris would be unable to cast tie-breaking votes to pass Democrat legislation.

Mr Manchin’s vote proved crucial in passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Read more:

The same applies for Senate confirmations, and Mr Manchin’s opposition to Neera Tanden’s nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget ultimately saw her withdraw from consideration.

Regarding upcoming legislation, on Wednesday Mr Manchin said he was in favour of an “enormous” infrastructure package paid for in part by revisiting Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, including raising the corporate rate.

The White House is currently putting together a $3 trillion package that includes provisions on infrastructure, renewable energy, and boosting employment.

A White House press release describes Ms Manchin as an educator with an extensive background in local and statewide educational partnerships in West Virginia

She was a board member and president of the State Board of Education during her time as first lady when her husband was governor from 2005 to 2010.

Ms Manchin would replace the current federal co-chair Tim Thomas, nominated by Mr Trump and confirmed in 2018.

The other co-chair, representing the states, is the Democratic governor of Virginia Ralph Northam.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in