President Joe Biden’s nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget edged toward collapse on Wednesday as two Republicans seen as potential “yes” votes became “no’s” because of her harsh partisan past.
A Senate committee postponed the anticipated Wednesday hearing for President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, suggesting further challenges for Neera Tanden.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee postponed a morning meeting where the nomination was going to be discussed. They provided no further information.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki indicated Biden continues to stand by Tanden’s nomination.
“Neera Tanden is a leading policy expert who brings critical qualifications to the table during this time of unprecedented crisis,” she wrote on Twitter.
Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney both cited concerns that Tanden, 50, would be too divisive to lead the agency responsible for managing the $4 trillion federal budget.
With the Senate divided 50-50 between the Republican and Democratic caucuses, Tanden will need the support of at least one Republican to win confirmation in the Senate. A moderate Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, said on Friday he would not vote for her.
“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 said in a statement.
A Romney spokeswoman said he was also opposed. “He believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets,” she said.
Biden, a Democrat, still supports Tanden. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the administration still saw a path toward her confirmation. “We’ll continue to work in supporting her nomination,” she told a news briefing.
Tanden would be the first high-profile Biden nominee to be rejected. The Senate has so far confirmed seven of his top nominees with bipartisan support.
The confirmation fight underscored the influence moderates will have as Biden works with the narrowly divided Congress.
Tanden’s advocates have scoffed at concerns about her comments from her opponents, noting near-unanimous Republican backing for former President Donald Trump.
Tanden is a veteran of the administrations of former Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She currently runs the radical Center for American Progress think tank.
She apologized for her past comments during her two confirmation hearings, vowing to work with Republicans if confirmed to lead the OMB.
With Collins and Romney both in the “no” column, Senator Lisa Murkowski was seen as one of the last remaining Republicans who might back Tanden. She told reporters at the Capitol late on Monday she had not spoken to the White House about the nomination and had not made up her mind.
Reuters contributed to this report.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org