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Collins, Romney Deliver New Blow To Tanden's Nomination To Lead OMB

Neera Tanden appears before a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Feb. 10.
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Neera Tanden appears before a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Feb. 10.

Neera Tanden, President Biden's pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, saw her path to confirmation narrow significantly on Monday after two of the Senate's more centrist Republicans said they would not lend their support to her confirmation.

Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney will not support Tanden's confirmation to lead the powerful OMB over past partisan attacks she made online, particularly against Republicans. The two have supported other Biden nominees.

Tanden would need at least one Republican in the Senate to support her nomination in the 50-50 divided chamber. Last week, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would oppose Tanden's nomination, a first real sign of a weakening of Tanden's chances.

"I believe 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. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination," Manchin said at the time. He has a history of at times siding with Republicans.

At her confirmation hearing this month, Tanden apologized for her comments, made while she led the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress.

"I do think the last several years have been very polarizing, and I apologize for my language that has contributed to that," Tanden told members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. "I know it's on me to demonstrate to this committee and to Republican members and Democratic members I can work with anyone."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki continued to defend Tanden in Monday's press briefing when pressed by reporters, saying Biden would not have selected her if he did not think she could do the job.

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Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.