Neera Tanden's Nomination as Budget Office Head Is Withdrawn
By Andrew Restuccia and Alex Leary
WASHINGTON -- The White House is withdrawing Neera Tanden's
nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget amid
opposition from Senate Republicans and a key Democrat, marking the
first failed confirmation push for one of President Biden's cabinet
Ms. Tanden wrote a letter to Mr. Biden asking that she be
"I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has
worked to win my confirmation," she wrote. "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.
Mr. Biden said in a statement, "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."
White House chief of staff Ron Klain said last month that the
administration hoped to find a position for Ms. Tanden that didn't
require Senate confirmation if she were unable to win enough
Ms. Tanden, the leader of the center-left think tank the Center
for American Progress, had come under criticism from some lawmakers
for her past social-media comments, which included jabs at
senators. She compared Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to Voldemort,
the Harry Potter villain; referred to Sen. Susan Collins (R.,
Maine) as "the worst"; and said "vampires have more heart" than
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas). She has also clashed with progressive
activists and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)
Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist West Virginia Democrat, said he
would oppose Ms. Tanden's nomination, citing her social-media
comments. To clear the full Senate, Ms. Tanden would have needed to
win the support of at least one Republican. The Senate is divided
evenly between Republicans and Democrats, and Vice President Kamala
Harris can break a tie.
Several Republicans known for crossing the aisle said they would
oppose her, and two Senate committees postponed votes on her
The White House had continued to maintain through Tuesday that
it would fight for her, and Ms. Tanden met Monday with Republican
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in an attempt to shore up her
support. Ms. Murkowski declined to say on Tuesday whether she would
back Ms. Tanden.
Shalanda Young, a longtime congressional staffer and Mr. Biden's
choice for deputy director of the budget office, is seen as a
leading contender to lead the OMB, people close to the White House
Write to Alex Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 02, 2021 19:24 ET (00:24 GMT)
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