Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has likely torpedoed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Neera Tandem — who is controversial for her past partisan tweets and attacks — to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Romney’s office released a statement saying, “Sen. 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.”
Prior to her nomination, Tanden tweeted that Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was “the worst,” called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “Voldemort” and criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the chair of the Budget Committee.
Tanden apologized for those attacks during her confirmation hearing, and promised to avoid such behavior at OMB.
In a Senate split 50-50, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., announced over the weekend that he would oppose Tanden — meaning Democrats needed to find a vote from at least one Republican for Tandem to win confirmation (along with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris).
The two Republicans seen as the most likely to help Democrats were Romney and Collins, but both came out in opposition to Tanden on Monday. Tanden would be the first Biden nominee rejected by the Senate.
Collins issued a strong statement against Tanden, saying, “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement Monday that Biden stands by the nomination as Democrats still seek votes needed to confirm her.
“Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent budget director and we look forward to the committee votes this week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties,” Psaki said.