President Joe Biden has withdrawn the nomination of Neera Tanden to chair the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after facing strong opposition from some leading figures in the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, over controversial mentions She posted on her Twitter account.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” the nominee said in a letter to Biden.
The President wrote back to Tanden stating that he “had the utmost respect for her number of accomplishments, her experience and her counsel,” and pledged to find another position for her in his administration.
Neera Tanden’s Senate confirmation was in doubt after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and other moderate Republicans opposed her nomination last month, citing a series of tweets from Tanden attacking members of both parties.
Manchin confirmed his opposition to Tanden’s nomination stating that “her extremely partisan comments will have a toxic and damaging impact on the important relationships between members of Congress and the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who led the Republican stimulus plan initiative, also confirmed her opposition to Tanden’s appointment.
Tanden’s appointment would have required 51 favorable votes in a divided Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie in the event it happened. Without Senator Manchin’s support, the Biden Administration is left without the support of the moderate wing of his party and in search of Republican votes to approve its future nominee for this post.
Among the support sought by Biden within the Republican Party is that of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), whose endorsement of Tanden’s nomination was seen as key after several centrist Republicans spoke out against it.
Biden’s Administration insisted on Tanden’s nomination even after several Republican senators outlined their opposition to the nomination.
In that regard, during the confirmation hearing Tanden faced pointed questions from members of both parties about her comments. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), for his part, accused her of issuing “vicious attacks” against Progressives, and would not confirm whether he would support her nomination.
Before the hearing Tanden deleted thousands of tweets attacking Congressmen of both parties, something that was reproached during the hearing. During the hearing, she apologized to “people on the left or right who are hurt” by what she had written on her Twitter account.
Senator Collins quoted the tweets deleted by Tanden prior to her statement, saying that the move “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.” The Senator also noted that Congress “must be able to trust the director of the Office of Management and Budget to make countless decisions in an unbiased manner, carrying out the letter of the law.”
Foundation for Economic Education economist Brad Polumbo said of Tanden: she is “a political operative, which I think, behaves in a very aggressive and toxic way. She attacks people. Her Twitter account is full of attacks, even on Democrats themselves, as was the case when she called Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset.”
For Polumbo, Tanden’s behavior is “completely unprofessional. “What I don’t understand is why, if the Biden Administration wants to show unity, why they chose such a divisive figure for such an important position. I don’t respect her work in politics at all, she has basically behaved as Hillary Clinton’s defense bot, frankly I don’t understand her nomination,” the economist stated.