Politics Neera Tanden's outreach to senators continues next week as confirmation in jeopardy
Sparks fly: Bernie Sanders questions OMB nominee Neera Tanden's corporate ties
Bernie Sanders revisited political grievances over Neera Tanden's corporate ties just minutes into her second Senate confirmation hearing, pitting President Biden's pick for budget chief again the leader of the Democratic Party's liberal wing.The Vermont senator, who infamously clashed with Tanden during his 2016 and 2020 White House bid, has the gavel for Tanden's confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee he chairs. And he didn't hold back during his opening statement on Wednesday morning, opening a slow-to-heal wound that dates to her time as a senior aide to the chairman's 2016 Democratic presidential primary foe, Hillary Clinton.
nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden will carry on with her outreach to senators next week after her confirmation was jeopardized Friday when revealed he would vote against her.
So far, Tanden has met with 35 senators on both sides of the aisle, according to a source involved with the confirmation process. "That outreach, which began moments after she was named, is continuing into next week," the source said.
Neera Tanden apologizes for GOP Twitter attacks, pledges to be bipartisan as White House budget chief
Tanden apologized for her Twitter feuds with Republicans and pledged her role as an "impassioned advocate" would change if confirmed as budget chief."Over the last few years, it's been part of my role to be an impassioned advocate," Tanden, who leads a left-leaning think tank, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in her first confirmation hearing. “I know there have been some concerns about some of my past language and social media, and I regret that language and take responsibility for it.
The confirmation team has also been speaking with outside interest groups, including Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations, the business community, women business leaders, and labor unions, to drum up support for her nomination, the source said.
Manchin announced Friday he will vote against Tanden, making her confirmation unlikely given Republican resistance to her nomination. The senator's decision means that unless a Republican senator comes forward to support Tanden's nomination, it's unlikely that she will be confirmed for the job, making key GOP votes more important than ever.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has a narrow majority in a 50-50 Senate. Because Democrats control the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties, but without Manchin's support, Democrats won't have the votes on their own.
Neera Tanden: Schumer says he is working with Biden 'to find the extra votes' to confirm OMB pick
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday he is working with President Joe Biden to gather the support needed to confirm Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget. © Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Image Neera Tanden, nominee for director of the Office and Management and Budget, speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on February 9, 2021, in Washington, DC. "I am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be passed," he told reporters during a news conference in New York, mentioning Democratic Sen.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney's office won't say how he will vote on Tanden, and there was no immediate response from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
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Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is among the senators Tanden is expected to speak with next week.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer Friday evening, Sanders was non-committal about the nomination. "I worry less about what Ms. Tanden did in the past than what she's going to do in the future," he said. "I will be speaking to her early next week."
CNN reported earlier this month that Tanden and Sanders had sat down for a lengthy one-on-one meeting in recent weeks, ahead of her confirmation hearings. One person briefed on the meeting told CNN that meeting was over an hour and no stone had been left unturned, describing it as an opportunity for the two to discuss years of public clashing and private interactions.
Neera Tanden’s nomination to head White House budget office in peril as Collins, Romney say they will vote against her
The nomination of Neera Tanden to head the powerful Office of Budget and Management appears increasingly imperiled, with Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney and Utah, both Republicans, announcing on Monday morning that they would vote against the nominee. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat, had earlier indicated that he, too, would vote against Tanden. At issue is Tanden’s storied legacy of incendiary tweets, which have frequently criticized and mocked Trump, congressional Republicans and progressives like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Biden has said he does not intend to pull, saying, "I think we're gonna find the votes to get her confirmed."
And White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the nomination in a statement to CNN, saying that "Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties."
An advocate for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign, Tanden's nomination angered not only conservatives, but, many of whom believed she'd played a role in bolstering Clinton's nomination at the expense of Sanders.
Tanden, who has most recently served as the CEO and president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress,over her past comments critical of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle during two Senate confirmation hearings last week. Sanders chided Tanden during a hearing before the Budget Committee, saying that some of her remarks amounted to "vicious attacks" against progressives.
Tanden acknowledged at the time that her statements on social media "caused hurt to people," saying, "I apologize to people on either the left or right who are hurt by what I've said."
Manchin focused on her previous comments in his own statement announcing his opposition. "As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation," he said.
An aide to Manchin told CNN Friday that the senator gave Schumer a heads up that he was going to make the announcement that he wouldn't support Tanden. Manchin voted to convict former President Donald Trump earlier this month and has so far voted for every other Biden nominee.
Key GOP swing vote undecided on whether to back Biden's imperiled budget pick .
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska had a sit-down meeting on Monday with Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, but has not decided yet if she will provide the crucial vote Tanden likely needs to be confirmed. © Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee on February 10, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.