Collins to oppose Tanden for OMB, further jeopardizing her nomination

By | February 22, 2021

Sen. Susan Collins will oppose Neera Tanden to lead the White House Budget Office, dealing another blow to her hopes of confirmation.

Tanden’s nomination to become director of the Office of Management and Budget became imperiled Friday, when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would oppose her, citing her controversial Twitter feed. Without support from Manchin in an evenly divided Senate, Tanden needs backing from at least one Republican.

But that support will not come from the Maine Republican.

“Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” Collins said in a statement Monday morning. “Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”

Collins added that Tanden’s decision to delete tweets before her nomination “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”

The White House expressed confidence Friday that Tanden would still be confirmed. President Joe Biden could theoretically use a recess appointment to name Tanden to lead OMB, but that could bring additional procedural hurdles.

The Senate Homeland Security and Budget committees are expected to vote on her nomination this week.

Prior to her nomination, Tanden tweeted that Collins was “the worst,” called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Voldemort” and criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Budget Committee. In one tweet, Tanden said “Russia did a lot more to help Bernie than the DNC’s random internal emails did to help Hillary,” a reference to Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

During her confirmation hearing, Tanden apologized for her tweets and said her approach would be “radically different.”