The White House announced Friday that President Joe Biden will nominate Gayle Manchin, wife of Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, to serve as the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Biden called the role “key” in the official release announcing the nominations of Manchin and five others. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin Breaks With Party On Gun Control, ‘Doesn’t Support’ House Measures)
President Biden is nominating Gayle Manchin, Sen. Joe Manchin’s wife, to be what it calls a “key member” of his administration. pic.twitter.com/a79KvyBuxj
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) March 26, 2021
The White House noted that Manchin has helmed a number of statewide initiatives and “also served as Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Office of Education and the Arts.”
The administration is preparing to introduce Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” economic agenda, which would reportedly tackle infrastructure, climate, education and labor issues, among others. In total, Biden’s spending packages are expected to cost roughly $3 trillion.
Meanwhile, the president himself has signaled both publicly and privately that, despite past misgivings, he is prepared to kill the Senate filibuster in order to pass his economic agenda and gun control measures.
Still, Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have repeatedly demonstrated they will not vote for Biden’s legislation strictly along party lines.
It should be noted that it isn’t unprecedented for Congressional lawmakers’ spouses to serve in the executive branch. Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, served as Transportation Secretary for the majority of former President Donald Trump’s time in office.
Biden’s other Friday nominations included Seema Nanda for Solicitor of the Department of Labor, Victoria Wassmer for Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Transportation, Maryanne Donaghy for Assistant Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Ronald Davis for Director of the United States Marshal Service and Jocelyn Samuels for a seat on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.