Joe Manchin feels ‘great’ about wife’s nomination to $160,000-a-year federal post


Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, perhaps the most important Democratic vote for the Biden administration, said Monday that he hopes Mr. Biden‘s nomination of his wife to a $160,000-a-year post “goes through well.”

“That’s great,” Mr. Manchin told reporters upon learning that the president formally nominated Gayle Connelly Manchin to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. “I hope to see she goes through well. Everybody seems to know her pretty well.”

The president had announced his intention to nominate Mrs. Manchin last month. Mr. Manchin said his wife was recommended for the post by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Mrs. Manchin also has served as president of the West Virginia state board of education.

“Gail’s been very much her whole life education and working with Appalachian people,” Mr. Manchin said. 

Given the Democrats’ narrow control of the 50-50 Senate, Mr. Manchin‘s role as a self-described “moderate to conservative Democrat” is pivotal over the Biden administration’s agenda.

Mr. Manchin said Monday that he’s working with other senators in both parties on possible gun legislation, a priority of the White House, and that he speaks with Mr. Biden “as often as he wants to.”

“We have a great relationship,” he said of the president.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mrs. Manchin would replace Tim Thomas, a former staffer for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

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