Updated Feb 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Collins, Romney to vote "no" on Biden budget nominee Neera Tanden

Susan Collins

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Monday they will not vote to confirm President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden.

Why it matters: The moderate Republicans were viewed as possible saviors to Tanden's nomination, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) became the first Democratic senator to oppose one of Biden's nominees last week. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has not yet announced how she intends to vote.

  • Tanden has faced scrutiny for her social media activity during the Trump presidency, during which she frequently attacked Republicans.
  • Tanden, who once called Collins "the worst" on Twitter, apologized for her tweets during her confirmation hearings.

What they're saying:

“The Director of OMB is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the federal budget and plays a significant role in any Administration’s fiscal and regulatory agenda. 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. 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.
“In addition, Ms. Tanden’s decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency. Should Congress need to review documents or actions taken by OMB, we must have confidence that the Director will be forthcoming.
“The OMB needs steady, experienced, responsive leadership. I will vote against confirming Ms. Tanden.”
— Sen. Susan Collins

A Romney spokesperson said in a statement: "Senator Romney has been critical of extreme rhetoric from prior nominees, and this is consistent with that position. He believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets."

What to watch: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday that Biden stands by the nomination.

  • "Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes this week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties," Psaki said.

Go deeper: Collins, Manchin "no" votes on Tanden a sign of Biden's peril

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