KEY POINTS

  • Sen. Collins said Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament for post 
  • Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has voiced his opposition
  • White House continues to back Tanden, but maybe already looking for backup

Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is unlikely to get confirmed after three key Republican Senators said they would oppose her. If the nomination fails, she would be the first Biden cabinet pick to get rejected.

Tanden's stinging tweets against Republicans have come back to haunt her with GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Rob Portman (Ohio) promising to vote against her nomination, reported The Hill. Sen. Pat Toomey, R -Pa., will also oppose the nomination.

With Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., 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 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 said Tanden's "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. 

Biden was still hopeful of getting his nominee through on Friday. “I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed." Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was seen as a potential swing vote.

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 a key Senate committees vote this week.

The report says that other names doing rounds for the position include Shalanda Young, who last month was nominated as deputy director of OMB, and 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, former chief of staff to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Miss., are other potential nominees.

It is not the first time that administrations had to withdraw cabinet picks. While Trump's Labour secretary choice Andrew Puzder withdrew the nomination, Obama too had two failed nominees for Commerce secretary before Gary Locke was finally confirmed.

Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies during a Senate Committee on the Budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 10, 2021 Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies during a Senate Committee on the Budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 10, 2021 Photo: POOL / Anna Moneymaker