White House pulls Neera Tanden nomination to lead OMB

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President Biden on Tuesday said he was withdrawing Neera Tanden’s nomination to be White House budget director.

Biden presented the white flag as Tanden’s idea and the White House released a letter from her saying she wanted to drop out.

Tanden faced increasingly long odds at confirmation due to her past mean tweets about senators, including swing-voting Republicans and even some Democrats.

Biden said in a statement that he “accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work,” Biden said.

Tanden’s insult-laden tweets clashed with Biden’s promotion of civility. She wrote in a letter to Biden that the White House released: “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.”

At least one Republican vote was needed in the evenly divided Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) said he opposed Tanden due to her mean remarks against his colleagues.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the last remaining GOP swing votes on the nomination, said Wednesday that she was surprised to learn she was among the targets of Tanden’s social media rage.

Tanden in 2017 accused Murkowski of being “high” on her “own supply.”

Tanden recently deleted more than 1,000 tweets that attacked Republicans but also trashed the 2016 presidential bid of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as Russia’s choice against Democratic Party favorite Hillary Clinton.

As of Tuesday, Murkowski and Sanders told reporters they did not have a public position on Tanden’s nomination.

Tanden is president of the Democratic Party-aligned Center for American Progress and in that role savaged the same senators she would have needed for confirmation. 

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reminded Tanden at one of her confirmation hearings, “You wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst’, that Tom Cotton is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz. You called Leader McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ and Voldemort.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) quipped, “You called Sen. Sanders everything but an ignorant slut.”

The role of OMB director involves steering federal spending across the US bureaucracy with policy dictates and reviews, in addition to preparing the president’s annual budget proposal.

The heavy favorite to replace Tanden is Shalanda Young, Biden’s nominee for deputy budget director. Young is a former longtime congressional staffer and Republican Sens. Kennedy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have expressed support for her potential elevation.

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