Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said Monday he will not vote to confirm Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, to lead the Office of Management and Budget in the Biden administration, further jeopardizing her path to confirmation.
Portman, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that he’d previously “expressed concern” about Biden’s decision to nominate Tanden, who was recently grilled by various senators over her past comments she’s made on social media.
“As a former OMB Director, I know that the OMB Director has to be able to work productively with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. I believe that the tone, the content, and the aggressive partisanship of some of Ms. Tanden’s public statements will make it more difficult for her to work effectively with both parties in this role,” said Portman in a statement Monday.
“I’m also concerned about her decision to delete thousands of tweets in the month after the election and the lack of transparency in her decision to do so, as well as her lack of experience on key issues for OMB, such as the regulatory and budgeting processes. While the president has the right to choose his own Cabinet, and thus far I have supported all of this administration’s nominees, I will not be supporting the confirmation of Ms. Tanden,” he said.
I will not be supporting Neera Tanden’s confirmation to be the next OMB Director.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) February 22, 2021
Biden has nominated 23 people to cabinet-level positions, and so far, each of the seven nominees who has been voted on has been confirmed. However, Tanden’s nomination has been threatening to put that streak at stake ever since Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would vote against her due to her past “overly partisan” statements. Back on Friday, President Joe Biden said he would find the votes to have her confirmed.
With the Senate split 50-50, Democrats would need to get one Republican senator on board with Tanden in order to compensate for the loss of Manchin, in addition to losing no other Senate Democrats. Both Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), other potential opportunities for a GOP pick-up vote, have ruled out voting to confirm Tanden.
“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,” said Collins, according to a statement obtained by Axios. “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.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), according to POLITICO, said Monday that she has not reached a decision on the Tanden nomination, and told reporters that she was “still visiting” the idea. Senator Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ) has not weighed in on how she would vote on a Tanden nomination.
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