Neera Tanden’s Senate committee votes postponed

By | February 24, 2021

Neera Tanden saw both of her Senate committee votes postponed Wednesday morning, the latest sign that her nomination to become director of the White House budget office is on the brink of collapse.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Budget committees sent out notices Wednesday saying that their slated votes on Tanden’s nomination to become director of the Office of Management and Budget would be delayed.

“We are postponing the business meeting because members need more time to consider the nominee,” said a Democratic aide on the Homeland Security committee. “The president deserves to have a team in place that he wants, and we’re going to work with our members to figure out the best path forward.”

Signs of trouble for Tanden began late last week, when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that he would oppose her nomination, citing her previous tweets criticizing senators in both parties. Manchin’s opposition means that Tanden would need at least one Republican to support her in order for her to be confirmed.

But as public opposition grew this week from moderates like Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Tanden’s nomination neared an implosion. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another moderate, has not yet said whether she’ll support the nominee. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who sits on the Homeland Security committee, has also not indicated how she’ll vote on Tanden.

The White House so far is showing little sign of accepting defeat. Even after the postponement of Tanden’s first committee vote, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that “Tanden is a leading policy expert who brings critical qualifications to the table during this time of unprecedented crisis.”

Prior to her Senate confirmation, Tanden tweeted that Collins was “the worst,” compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Voldemort, the Harry Potter villain, and insulted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who chairs the Budget committee.

Sanders was not consulted before President Joe Biden’s nomination of Tanden, according to a source close to the process.

During her confirmation hearing, Tanden said she felt “badly” about the tweets and vowed that her “approach will be radically different.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.