Neera Tanden Withdraws from OMB Nomination, Biden’s First Defeat

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. (Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Tuesday evening.

In a statement, Tanden wrote:

Dear President Biden,

I am writing to you to withdraw my nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget. It has been an honor of a lifetime to be considered for this role and for the faith placed in me. I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation. 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.I am incredibly grateful for your leadership on behalf of the American people and for your agenda that will make such a transformative difference in people’s lives.

Sincerely,

Neera Tanden

The White House confirmed the withdrawal.

Tanden was facing bipartisan opposition from senators due to past comments she made on her Twitter feed.

The news breaks as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said she met with Tanden on Monday. Murkowski acknowledged she had not made a decision and was still doing her “assessment.”

Tanden reached out to senators after her confirmation was harpooned by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (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.

Biden’s cabinet picks have mostly sailed through the Democrat-led Senate. Still, Biden’s choice 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 “no” vote against Tanden made 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.

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