CNN reporter Lauren Fox described the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate as “incredibly fragile” Monday and highlighted the “tension” between moderate and progressive Democrats in addressing legislation and executive nominations.
In an appearance on “New Day,” Fox listened as host John Berman began the discussion by noting some of the moderate senators from both parties announcing their opposition to the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Berman pointed out that the fact Tanden may not be confirmed “shows us that there’s no margin for error for President Biden in the U.S. Senate.” He then asked Fox what that meant for the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. (RELATED: ‘The Democratic Party Has Some Real Problems’: Former Congressman Lays Out GOP’s Opportunity To ‘Take Back The House’)
“Well, this is an incredibly fragile majority that Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, has on his hands. And, it really reveals the tension that exists between some of the progressive members of his caucus and some of the more moderate members of his caucus, who are clearly flexing their muscles,” Fox responded.
“You know, Sen. Joe Manchin saying on Friday he was not going to support Neera Tanden meant ultimately that it will be up to Republicans on whether or not they would cross the aisle and vote for her. If they do not, then there are not the votes available,” she continued.
Tanden, the current President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, was announced as President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the OMB in November. Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, all considered moderate senators, announced they would not support her nomination. All of them cited her past disparaging comments towards Republicans as a contributing factor in their decisions.
Fox then explained that the moderate voices “truly matter” when it comes to Biden’s proposed coronavirus relief package. She pointed out that Manchin and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have both said they will not support a $15 federal minimum wage remaining part of the current proposal, something the rest of the Democrats have supported.
“That’s really what Schumer is trying to struggle with right now. And, I think that is the balance you are going to see, not just on this vote over Tanden, but also on this vote over Covid relief, infrastructure, immigration, whatever they want to do,” Fox continued. “There is a narrow majority in the Senate and that’s even when you’re using something like the budget reconciliation process, which already gives you a little more room to pass these bills with just Democratic votes.”
“John, that’s really one of the unity issues here, too. We hear President Biden talking about unity, wanting to have bipartisan support. Put that aside for a minute. It’s about having unified support of Democrats and his vision of this big tent, you know, is not the same, perhaps, as the rest of the party’s vision. That’s a challenge,” host Erica Hill concluded.