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Biden faces first potential Cabinet defeat as opposition grows to budget pick
7 min read
fairly difficult
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) indicated Monday that they plan to vote against OMB nominee Neera Tanden, citing her intemperate and now-deleted social media posts attacking GOP lawmakers.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) indicated Monday that they plan to vote against Tanden, citing her intemperate and now-deleted social media posts attacking GOP lawmakers. Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) announced his opposition to Tanden, nominated to lead the Office of Management and Budget, late last week, meaning at least one Republican would be needed to confirm Tanden in an evenly divided Senate.

But Collins confirmed Monday she would not do so, saying in a statement that Tanden, a Washington hand who recently ran the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, "has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency."



White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Feb. 22 that the administration believes there is still a path to confirming Neera Tanden as OMB director. (Zach Purser Brown/The Washington Post)

"Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend," Collins said. "In addition, Ms. Tanden's decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency."

A spokeswoman for Romney echoed that criticism, saying: "Senator Romney has been critical of extreme rhetoric from prior nominees, and this is consistent with that position. He believes it's hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets." Another potential Republican vote, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, did not answer Monday whether she planned to support Tanden but told reporters she has not spoken to the White House about the nomination.

Tanden's troubled confirmation prospect is a testament to the power of a handful of swing votes in the 50-50 Senate, where just one senator can derail Biden's personnel picks or policy goals. The pending defeat also is a blow to Biden's ability to advance his agenda in a chamber he served for decades, with his…
Seung Min Kim, Annie Linskey, Jeff Stein
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