Neera Tanden withdraws from nomination as Biden budget chief


Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), attends a hearing with the Senate Committee on the Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 10, 2021.

Anna Moneymaker | Pool | Reuters

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he is withdrawing the nomination of Neera Tanden as his budget chief at her request, a move that came after more than a week of signs that Tanden would fail to win Senate confirmation.

Biden also said that he expected Tanden, who had been up for director of the Office of Management and Budget, to land another “role in my Administration,” but not identify what that might be.

Tanden’s withdrawal is the first instance of a Biden Cabinet nominee failing to win Senate approval, or even fail to go to a vote.

Tanden, in a letter to Biden, said, “I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation.”

“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.

She also wrote that it was “an honor of a lifetime to be considered” for the budget chief’s post.

Tanden’s nomination was in doubt after three senators — Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Maine Republican Susan Collins — declared they would vote against confirming her for her record of criticizing lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.

Democrats hold majority control in the Senate by the slimmest of margins. Two independents caucus with 48 Democrat senators, giving them the same number of votes as the 50-senator Republican caucus. Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, holds the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, giving her party the approve nominations and legislation if the caucus remains unified.

Manchin’s refusal to back Tanden, coupled with the difficulty in getting a Republican to support her, made Tanden’s path to confirmation very narrow.

Biden, in a statement released by the White House, said of Tanden, “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,” the president said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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