Crisis Control Mode for Biden’s First Nominee, Neera Tanden

Neera Tanden, director of the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) nominee testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee on her nomination to become the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), during a hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on February 9, …
LEIGH VOGEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s first nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Neera Tanden is in crisis control mode, reaching out to senators after her confirmation was harpooned by Sen. Bernie Sander’s (D-VT) tough line of questioning and Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) revealed “no” vote against her.

Tanden has met with 35 senators on both sides of the aisle, according to a source involved with the confirmation process. “That outreach, which began moments after she was named, is continuing into next week,” the source said.

The confirmation team has also been negotiating with outside interest groups that hold sway with key senators, including Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations, the business community, women business leaders, and labor unions, to drum up support for her nomination, CNN reported.

Biden’s Cabinet picks mostly sailed through the Democrat-led Senate. Still, Biden’s nomination to lead the OMB, which heads efforts to ensure an administration’s priorities are reflected in legislation and regulations, was derailed when Sanders questioned Tanden about her “vicious attacks” against both Republicans and progressives on Twitter, including “me, personally.”

Manchin’s announced vote against Tanden makes her confirmation unlikely given Republican resistance to her nomination. At this time no GOP senator has come out in favor of her confirmation, and she would need a Republican to save her chances at confirmation.

Though Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has a history of voting with the opposition party, he won’t say how he will vote on Tanden. Romney’s vote is critical in a split 50-50 Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaking vote.

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