Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he is whipping votes for President Joe Biden’s nominee, Neera Tanden, to lead the Office of Management and Budget, despite pushback from senators.
“I am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be passed,” he told reporters during a news conference in New York on Sunday, mentioning Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who said last week he would not vote for Tanden. “I think she would be a very good OMB leader,” Schumer added.
Tanden’s confirmation as director is in further jeopardy after Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced Monday she will vote against Tanden.
“Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” Sen. Susan Collins said.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s nomination on Twitter Monday morning:
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 White House does not intend to pull Tanden’s nomination and believes they will find the votes to get her confirmed even after Collin’s decision to vote no.
“Yes,” @PressSec says. “We look forward to the committee votes this week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties."
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 22, 2021
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 holding 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, according to CNN.