(Tallahassee, Fla.) – The Institute of Politics at Florida State University (IOP@FSU) on Mon., March 1 hosted a webinar featuring U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) during its ‘Celebrating Civility’ series. The discussion was moderated by former Republican Party of Florida Chair and Florida State University adjunct faculty member Al Cardenas.

In sharing their thoughts on the state of American politics, bipartisanship, and the prospects for policymaking in the current Congress, the discussion turned toward presidential cabinet nominations, specifically President Biden’s nominee, Neera Tanden, to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Senator Manchin explained his opposition to the nomination due to her heavy political involvement and outspoken beliefs on social media, stating that, “you are putting her in a position to fail.” He cited the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 for forever changing his outlook on the dangers of voting along party lines without thinking critically.

In a U.S. Senate that is evenly split, 50 Democrats (two Independents) and 50 Republicans, his decision disrupted the Democrats’ plan to confirm Tanden assuming the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. Ms. Tanden removed her name from consideration on Tues., March 2.

Former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez recalled a time when he served in a Senate (2005-2009) that was also 50/50 split. “We didn’t appreciate how tenuous that balance was …every day there is a battle, every vote becomes a crisis,” said Martinez. However, he was confirmed in 2000 by a unanimous vote of 100-0 to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The full video of this discussion can be found here. Senator Manchin explains his decision at the 54:39 timestamp, and Senator Martinez explains his experience with a split Senate at the 42:00 timestamp. When using this video, please cite ‘The Institute of Politics at Florida State University.’

About The Institute of Politics at Florida State University

The Institute of Politics at Florida State University (IOP@FSU) is a world-class, nonpartisan, and nationally renowned institute that promotes engagement in politics by students and citizens. Housed within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the IOP@FSU supports applied political research by a cadre of world-class scholars and will mobilize the talents of our alumni, students, faculty, and friends while taking advantage of our location in Florida’s Capital City. The IOP@FSU offers wide-ranging opportunities for FSU students to become civically engaged, promotes research in politics, citizen involvement, and public service, and promotes the awareness of politics, citizen involvement, and public service in the general public. For additional information, please go to www.IOPFSU.com

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 4, 2021
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