On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in announcing he would be opposing Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick for the White House Office of Management and Budget. This has reportedly placed Biden’s nominee on an increasingly difficult path to confirmation.
Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia initiated the complications when he announced on Friday that he would oppose Tanden, citing her Twitter feed.
As reported by The Daily Wire on Monday,
Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would vote against Tanden, citing “overly partisan statements” that she’s made about his Republican and Democratic colleagues:
“I have carefully reviewed Nerra Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others. I believe her overly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.
“As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics,” added the Democratic senator from West Virginia. “At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges our nation is facing.”
It does not appear that Biden will be replacing his nominee, however, as his press secretary tweeted support of Tanden on Monday morning.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Tanden was an “accomplished policy expert,” and that she would be the first Asian-American woman to lead the OMB. She also added that Tanden “has lived experience having benefitted from a number of federal programs as a kid …”
Neera Tanden=accomplished policy expert, would be 1st Asian American woman to lead OMB, has lived experience having benefitted from a number of federal programs as a kid, looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 22, 2021
The Daily Wire reported on Tanden’s response to the criticism during her committee hearings.
“I recognize that my language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that,” said Tanden. “I really regret it, and I recognize it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others, and I look forward to taking that burden, and I apologize to people on either the Left or Right who are hurt by what I’ve said.”
“Social media does lead to too many personal comments, and my approach will be radically different,” she added.
Collins said in a statement Monday morning, “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.”
She added, “Should Congress need to review documents or actions taken by OMB, we must have confidence that the director will be forthcoming … The OMB needs steady, experienced, responsive leadership. I will vote against confirming Ms. Tanden.”
Collins also reportedly took issue with the fact that Tanden had deleted previous tweets before her nomination, saying the decision to do so “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”
Romney’s spokeswoman said the Republican senator of Utah “believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets…”
Manchin’s announcement last week that he would vote “no” meant that at least one Republican senator needed to vote for Tanden in order for her confirmation to be successful. Romney and Collins were seen as viable candidates, but it is unclear which Republican could take their place.
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