Budget nominee Tanden withdraws nomination amid opposition

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s choose to go the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, has withdrawn her nomination after she confronted opposition from key Democratic and Republican senators for her controversial tweets.

Her withdrawal marks the primary high-profile defeat of one in all Biden’s nominees. Thirteen of the 23 Cabinet nominees requiring Senate approval have been confirmed, most with sturdy bipartisan help.

“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 Biden. The president, in a press release, stated he has “utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel” and pledged to search out her one other position in his administration.

Tanden’s viability was doubtful after Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and a variety of average Republicans got here out in opposition to her final month, all citing her tweets attacking members of each events previous to her nomination.

Manchin, a key average swing vote within the Senate, stated final month in a press release saying his opposition that “her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget.” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, in the meantime, cited Biden’s personal commonplace of conduct in opposing Tanden, declaring in a press release that “her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”

Tanden wanted simply 51 votes in an evenly-divided Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris appearing as a tiebreaker. But with out Manchin’s help, the White House was left scrambling to discover a Republican to help her.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was seen because the final Republican holdout open to supporting Tanden, stated Tuesday night time that she by no means advised the White House she was a no vote on Tanden, and that the administration by no means requested. But her help was believed to be key to Tanden’s nomination after a variety of different centrist Republicans got here out in opposition to her, and Murkowski met with the nominee this week.

Murkowski advised reporters she had requested Tanden, as she does all of the nominees, to know the challenges the Biden administration’s insurance policies are having on Alaska, the place the economic system is closely depending on oil and gasoline drilling and associated actions.

“I have walked each and every one of them through these priorities, these challenges that we’re facing right now as, as, Alaskans, and I’m saying, what can you do to help me?” Murkowski stated. “Because we’ve got an industry that is that is really in a fragile position right now because of the administration executive orders.”

The White House caught with Tanden even after a variety of centrist Republicans made their opposition recognized, insisting her expertise rising up on welfare and background engaged on progressive insurance policies because the president and CEO of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress made her the fitting candidate for the second. White House chief of workers Ron Klain initially insisted the administration was “fighting our guts out” for her.

Tanden confronted pointed questions over her previous feedback about members from each events throughout her affirmation listening to. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont impartial and outstanding progressive lawmaker, accused her of issuing “vicious attacks” in opposition to progressives, and hadn’t stated whether or not he’d help her nomination.

Tanden apologized throughout that listening to to “people on either the left or right who are hurt by what I’ve said.” Just previous to the listening to, she deleted a whole lot of tweets, a lot of which have been crucial of Republicans.

Collins cited these deleted tweets in her assertion, saying that the move “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.” She stated 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.”

As not too long ago as Monday, the White House indicated it was sticking by Tanden’s nomination, with press secretary Jen Psaki noting Tanden’s “decades of experience” in defending their choose.

“We will continue of course to fight for the confirmation of every nominee that the president puts forward,” Psaki insisted, however she added, “We’ll see if we have 50 votes.”

A number one advocate for Tanden, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the chair of the Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus, referred to as the withdrawal a “tragedy” that leaves the Cabinet with only one Asian American member.

“We anticipate the best ranges of professionalism and civility from our leaders in authorities, which is exactly what Neera displayed in taking accountability for her previous feedback and committing to a change in tone. I’m disillusioned that such a professional candidate was topic to such a detrimental double commonplace,” Chu said.

The head of the Office of Management and Budget is tasked with putting together the administration’s budget, as well as overseeing a wide range of logistical and regulatory issues across the federal government.

Tanden’s withdrawal leaves the Biden administration without a clear replacement. The apparent front-runner on Capitol Hill to replace Tanden was Shalanda Young, a former staff director for the House Appropriations Committee who has been actively pushed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Other names mentioned include Ann O’Leary, a former chief of staff for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Gene Sperling, who served as a top economic adviser to both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

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Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed reporting.

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