Manchin Holds Up Biden Nominee Over Abortion Policy: REPORT

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is holding up a Biden administration nominee over the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) abortion policy, Politico reported Thursday.

President Joe Biden nominated the Department of Justice’s Anjali Chaturvedi to be general counsel for the VA in June 2022, but her consideration has been held up in the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs over the department providing some abortions, according to Politico. Manchin has joined the Republicans on the committee in stalling Chaturvedi’s nomination, two sources familiar told the outlet, citing a 1992 law that prevents federally funded abortions for military veterans.

“Senator Manchin’s made clear that the VA’s current abortion policy is a blatant violation of federal law and he continues to urge the Administration to restore the commonsense protections we’ve had in place for decades to ensure federal dollars cannot be used to fund abortions,” a spokesperson for Manchin told the Daily Caller News Foundation, but did not address Chaturvedi’s nomination. (RELATED: Joe Manchin Could Be Gearing Up To Tank Another Biden Nominee: REPORT)

The VA officially established a rule last September enabling abortion for military veterans in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger, prompting backlash from Republicans. Though Manchin and the committee’s Republicans maintain the department has overstepped, the VA said it can widen the scope of the previous law to include abortion as a medical need, according to Politico.


Committee Republicans pressed Chaturvedi on the VA’s pending abortion policy in a July hearing last year, to which she said she hadn’t had the opportunity to “fully study” it, according to Politico.

Manchin’s hold out has prevented Chaturvedi’s nomination to advance, as Democrats hold a one-seat majority on the committee, according to Politico.

The senator has opposed several Biden nominees, including IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, Department of Labor Secretary nominee Julie Su, Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn and Department of Interior assistant secretary nominee Laura Daniel-Davis.

The White House, Chaturvedi and the VA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comments.

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