Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is unlikely to get confirmed after three key Republicans declared Monday that they would oppose her. If the nomination fails, she would be the first Biden cabinet pick to not get confirmed.
Her stinging tweets against Republicans have come back to haunt her with GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Rob Portman (Ohio) announcing to vote against her nomination, reports The Hill. Sen Pat Toomey, R -PA, will also oppose the nomination.
With Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia already voicing his opposition, citing Tanden’s “partisan statements,” which will have a “detrimental impact on the important working relationship,” her nomination is on the point of breakdown as she needs at least one Republican vote to sail through in the evenly split senate.
Sen. Collins, in a statement, said, “The Director of OMB is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the federal budget and plays a significant role in any Administration’s fiscal and regulatory agenda. Congress has to be able to trust the OMB director to make countless decisions in an impartial manner, carrying out the letter of the law and congressional intent. Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”
Collins also criticized Tanden’s act wherein she deleted more than 1,000 tweets in November, adding “decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”
While the White House has publicly backed Tanden, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeting White House was “looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation”, The Hill reports the officials are already considering backup plans.
However, although Tanden’s confirmation chances have dwindled, President Biden is still backing his nominee. On Friday, when the President was asked if was considering the withdrawal of Tanden’s nomination, he said: “I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed.”
According to CNN, a senior Democratic senator said he believes there’s virtually no path to confirm her to the position. He said the nomination will collapse and the White House will have to withdraw it before key Senate committees vote on it this week. The present best chance for Democrats is Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is seen as a potential swing vote.
The report says that other names doing rounds for the position are Shalanda Young, who last month was nominated as deputy director of OMB.
Ann O’Leary, who resigned in December as chief of staff to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, former national economic adviser Gene Sperling and John Jones, the former chief of staff to Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver are other potential nominees.
It is not the first time that administrations withdraw Cabinet picks. While Trump’s Labour secretary pick Andrew Puzder withdrew the nomination, Obama too had two failed nominees for Commerce secretary before Gary Locke was finally confirmed.
Neera Tanden: The First Biden Cabinet Pick On Path To A Failed Confirmation Wire Services/ International Business Times.