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Politics Neera Tanden’s OMB nomination failed. Her fallback plan remains a mystery.

01:59  04 march  2021
01:59  04 march  2021 Source:   politico.com

Susan Collins Joins Joe Manchin to Oppose Neera Tanden in Near-Fatal Blow to Nomination

  Susan Collins Joins Joe Manchin to Oppose Neera Tanden in Near-Fatal Blow to Nomination There has been opposition to Neera Tanden due to previous social media posts in which she targeted lawmakers.It comes after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would not support her nomination, reducing the chance of her being confirmed to the position by the narrowly-divided Senate.

Neera Tanden deletes over a thousand tweets amid Biden OMB nomination . Tanden , a longtime Hillary Clinton adviser and president of the Center for American Progress, is an avid tweeter. She has used the platform to issue bombastic criticisms of lawmakers — as well as voters — who identify to her right and left. The tweets, some deleted and some still live, reference GOP lawmakers by name, tagging them, and blasting them for supporting President Trump — or in some cases, attacking them personally.

Tanden , who led the liberal Center for American Progress for nearly a decade, is Biden’s first cabinet-level nominee to fail to reach confirmation, as the Senate slowly considers remaining nominees. Her selection in late November touched off an angry backlash on the right and the left over sarcastic Moving forward with Tanden ’ s doomed nomination could have eroded Biden’s political capital at a time he is urging Congress to pass his .9 trillion virus rescue package, a second large spending and infrastructure plan and an immigration overhaul. Biden will likely face pressure to choose a woman or

Neera Tanden will play a role in the Biden administration. Exactly what is TBD.

a close up of a person: Neera Tanden raises her hand before testifying at a Feb. 10 Senate hearing to consider her nomination. © Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP, Pool Neera Tanden raises her hand before testifying at a Feb. 10 Senate hearing to consider her nomination.

Sources close to Tanden say she is inclined to take a job in the administration — one that doesn’t require Senate confirmation — after her nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget was pulled on Tuesday night after it became clear she didn't have enough votes. They expect that some sort of announcement will come in the near term. But there is a hurdle: the most logical landing spots for Tanden are occupied and the West Wing is already quite crowded.

Neera Tanden’s nomination to head White House budget office in peril as Collins, Romney say they will vote against her

  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.

Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget ( OMB ) Tuesday evening. In a statement, Tanden wrote: Dear President Biden 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.I am incredibly grateful for your leadership on behalf of the American people and for your agenda that will make such a transformative difference in people’ s lives.

Though Tanden withdrew her nomination , the White House saw no path to her confirmation, according to an administration official. "We exhausted every path forward," the official said. In a letter to Biden, Tanden said it was the "honor of a lifetime" to be considered for the role. "Well, right now Neera Tanden does not have the votes, so we'll see what happens in the future," Sanders said in an interview moments before the White House announced her nomination was being pulled. Tanden apologized and expressed regret over her past tweets during Senate confirmation hearings last month.

Having run the Democratic Party’s top think tank for years, Tanden would be an obvious fit to helm the Domestic Policy Council in the White House. But Susan Rice is in that role. As one White House adviser put it, Rice is “not someone who gives up turf easily.”

A Democrat close to the process also noted: “The irony is [Rice] was put in that role because she probably couldn’t get [Senate] confirmed.”

Health care is where Tanden has made the strongest mark in her career, having served as an adviser to the Health and Human Services secretary during the Obama years. But there’s no expectation that she will go in as a deputy at an agency, and the Covid task force is already stacked with big names far along in their work.

Instead, the expectation among top Democrats is that Tanden will take on a senior adviser role, even though the White House is brimming with such folks: from Steve Ricchetti to Bruce Reed to Anita Dunn. As one Democratic official put it “you make up some job. The question is, does she wanna take it?”

Neera Tanden Once Criticized Joe Manchin's Pharma CEO Daughter

  Neera Tanden Once Criticized Joe Manchin's Pharma CEO Daughter Joe Manchin is one of several senators to publicly state opposition to Neera Tanden's nomination to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. "He added: "For this reason, I cannot support her nomination. 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."Other Senators, such as Susan Collins (R-ME), have also publicly stated opposition to Tanden.

Neera Tanden looks on at a hearing with the Senate Committee on the Budget on Capitol Hil on Feb. President Biden on Tuesday said he was withdrawing Neera Tanden ’ s nomination to be White House budget director. Biden presented the white flag as Tanden ’ s idea and the White House released a letter from her saying she wanted to drop out. Tanden faced increasingly long odds at confirmation due to her past mean tweets about senators, including swing-voting Republicans and even some Democrats.

In a letter from Tanden withdrawing her nomination sent out by the White House, she said, "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." As OMB director, Tanden would have become the first woman of color and first South Asian person to lead the powerful executive office and had an outsized role in shaping the Biden' s administration' s domestic policy. More: Neera Tanden apologizes for GOP Twitter attacks, pledges to be bipartisan as White House budget chief.

Both Tanden’s allies and those close to the White House believe she will, though neither thought that this was the gig she’d get.

Her failed nomination has drawn questions about the White House’s confirmation strategy. Individuals inside the administration were concerned, early on, that it would be a difficult fight, owing to Tanden’s partisan reputation.

Her selection was driven by White House chief of staff Ron Klain, one of Tanden’s key allies inside Biden World. But a person closely involved with the OMB director deliberations said Klain also recommended others for the role, including Rep. Deb Haaland (who was, instead, nominated as Interior secretary), Jennifer Granholm (now confirmed as Energy secretary), and Cecilia Rouse (now confirmed as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers).


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Tanden had broad support from Biden’s top advisers including from Biden himself, the person said. She had deep policy experience and had been helpful to the campaign by providing policy support. Her rolodex included many top Democrats’ personal cell phone numbers which she used to shore up support from the party, including the left-wing, early on.

Team Biden taps Asian American groups to help save Tanden

  Team Biden taps Asian American groups to help save Tanden As Biden’s choice for budget chief flounders in the Senate, the White House has rallied her allies in the South Asian community to her defense.Those groups are calling and sending letters to Senate offices and advocating for Tanden on social media to try to combat what they are calling “structural racism” and “institutional racism.

“I have accepted Neera Tanden ’ s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget ,” 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.” It has been clear for some time that Tanden was unlikely to secure enough votes for confirmation amid Republican opposition, which largely focused on her past social media posts in which she at times blasted

“I have accepted Neera Tanden ’ s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget ,” Biden said in a statement. Tanden has been president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank, and advised Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign. The White House had expressed confidence that they could secure Tanden ’ s confirmation, while many of her backers saw a double standard in the way that Republicans opposed her , given that they spent the past four years often avoiding or ignoring inflammatory tweets sent by

Transition officials say that she plunged into the outreach strategy, trying to line up the backing of not just senators but a number of outside groups and validators that ranged from AAPI groups, to unions, to former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. While those groups supported her nomination, officials at some of the groups felt that the effort was disorganized and lacked a real “war room.”

The White House believed that the votes would be there for Tanden to be confirmed, up until Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced his opposition to her nomination. A scramble ensued to not just find a Republican vote, but to ensure that no other caucusing Democrat followed Manchin's example.

Two such Senators — Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — signaled privately that they would support the nomination. Sanders’ own aides thought their boss was voting "yes" after the confirmation hearings.

According to three sources familiar with the discussions, Sanders let the White House know that he would likely be a "yes" on Tanden. Two of those sources said Sinema had made clear that she would vote yes on Tanden if a Republican senator could be found to support her too. In other words, Sinema would not be the deciding vote.

Neera Tanden nomination to lead Office of Management and Budget remains in limbo

  Neera Tanden nomination to lead Office of Management and Budget remains in limbo President Joe Biden's nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget may remain in limbo until at least early next week. © 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.

Sinema’s office declined to comment. Sanders’ office did not return a request for comment. But their public silence during the heat of the confirmation fight did not go unnoticed.

“If they had come out and said we’re with her, they would have put more muscle in trying to get [Sen. Lisa] Murkowksi to confirm or maybe another TBD Republican,” said a person close to the White House.

For the White House, the big unknown was Murkowksi. The Alaska Republican was the one Republican who had not stated where she stood on Tanden’s nomination to head OMB. She and Tanden met on Monday. And though the two talked about Biden administration policy vis-a-vis Murkowski’s home state of Alaska, Democratic officials stressed that there was never talk of a quid-pro-quo.

“There was no hint of if you do this, I will do that,” said the aforementioned White House adviser. “She was not in that space. But she had been clear in the White House that there were some things she was looking for with respect to Alaska.”

The conversation did not produce a breakthrough. Murkowski has not said whether she ever made up her mind on Tanden’s nomination. But at the White House, it became evident that there was no path forward. On Tuesday evening, Tanden, fearful that Republicans were — in the words of one confidant — "bleeding [her nomination] slowly" asked to have her name withdrawn. The president complied.

On Wednesday, Murkowski was asked about her thinking.

“Did I ever make up my mind? I’m only pausing because I’m like: did you read the news? She’s withdrawn,” she replied. “I don’t know why there’s still interest in this story. I think Neera Tanden has been through a lot for several months now and we’re going to move on. In fairness, I’m glad I had an opportunity to talk to her”

-- Burgess Everett and Anita Kumar contributed reporting

How Twitter killed Neera Tanden's chances -- and why it will happen again .
The White House bowed to the inevitable on Tuesday night, pulling the nomination of Neera Tanden to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget. © Provided by CNN Logo Twitter from Getty That a Cabinet nominee didn't make it even to a Senate floor vote isn't anything new. Every president since Bill Clinton has lost at least one of his initial Cabinet picks. Given that, it would have been more exceptional if President Joe Biden didn't lose any Cabinet nominees.

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