White House

Tanden Withdraws Nomination for Budget Director

Neera Tanden during a Senate committee hearing on her nomination for OMB director, February 9, 2021 (Leigh Vogel/Reuters)

Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination to become director of the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday after she struggled to receive the support needed for a Senate confirmation in light of old tweets in which she insulted lawmakers.

“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,” Tanden wrote in a letter to President Biden.

Biden said in a statement he has “utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel” and vowed to find her another position within his administration.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and Budget Committees were set to vote last Wednesday on Tanden’s nomination but announced last minute that the meetings would be postponed after her confirmation was imperiled by Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat who said he would use his critical vote to oppose the confirmation over her “overtly partisan statements.”

Tanden, who is president of the Center for American Progress, deleted more than 1,000 insulting tweets about lawmakers ahead of her nomination.

Without Manchin’s support, and with the Senate evenly divided between the parties, Tanden would have needed backing from at least one Republican.

However, Senators Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Mitt Romney (R., Utah) signaled last week that they would not support the confirmation either.

“Congress has to be able to trust the OMB director to make countless decisions in an impartial manner, carrying out the letter of the law and congressional intent,” Collins said in a statement last week. “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency.”

Tanden is the first of Biden’s 23 Cabinet nominees requiring Senate approval to be defeated. So far 11 nominees have been confirmed.

It is unclear whom Biden will nominate as a replacement, though Shalanda Young, a former staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, has reportedly emerged as a frontrunner, according to the Associated Press.

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