The Biden administration’s Cabinet confirmation process hit a snag Tuesday evening when the White House announced it has pulled the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “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 polarizing former Clinton campaign aide and president of the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress came under fire during the confirmation process for critical comments of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Tanden deleted more than 1,000 tweets from her personal account just days after the presidential election.
“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.
Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in recent weeks they would oppose her confirmation, pointing to Tanden’s past social media criticisms of lawmakers. Without Manchin’s support, Tanden needed a Republican senator to vote in favor.
Tanden also espoused beliefs in conspiracies like Russian hackers changing votes for Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump.
A left-leaning journalist who once worked for Tanden claimed she was a “very bad organizational leader,” accusing her of lacking “leadership and moral courage.”
These facts didn’t affect people like left-wing CNN contributor Kirsten Powers, who excoriated Republican senators last week as “the white boy club” who are “dragging” women and people of color through the mud.
Powers can disingenuously rant, but even sympathetic ears confess the Biden administration botched this effort.
While important, OMB is not the consequential post Health and Human Services is.
A more dangerous nominee is now moving toward potential confirmation for the latter.
“Ron Klain and Chuck Schumer know that Xavier Becerra is a wolf who can’t be dressed in sheep’s clothing, so they’re using Neera Tanden as a decoy,” Sen. Ben Sasse told National Review. “While the beltway talks endlessly about which senators got mean tweets from a lefty activist, a wannabe tyrant with a nasty record of attacking the First Amendment is going to quietly become the leader of the federal government’s largest agency. Becerra has shown nothing but contempt for free speech and religious liberty — he’s a hell of a lot more dangerous than Tanden.”
Eleven of 23 Cabinet nominees requiring Senate approval have so far been confirmed, most with strong bipartisan support.