Indicating trouble, Neera Tanden’s Senate committee votes postponed

Neera Tanden

“We’re going to push,” says Biden, “We still think there’s a shot, a good shot.”

In the latest sign that Indian American Neera Tanden’s nomination to become director of the White House budget office is in trouble, two Senate committee postponed their votes Wednesday morning.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Budget committees sent out notices Wednesday saying that their slated votes on Tanden’s nomination to become director of the Office of Management and Budget would be delayed.

“We are postponing the business meeting because members need more time to consider the nominee,” a Democratic aide on the Homeland Security committee was cited as saying by Politico.

“The president deserves to have a team in place that he wants, and we’re going to work with our members to figure out the best path forward.”

RELATED: List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)

“The White House so far is showing little sign of accepting defeat and has insisted she could still have the votes for confirmation,” Politico said. “We’re going to push,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. “We still think there’s a shot, a good shot.

Even after the postponement of Tanden’s first committee vote, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that “Tanden is a leading policy expert who brings critical qualifications to the table during this time of unprecedented crisis.”

Signs of trouble for Tanden began late last week, when West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said that he would oppose her nomination, citing her previous tweets criticizing senators in both parties, Politico noted.

Manchin’s opposition means that Tanden would need at least one Republican to support her in order for her to be confirmed.

But as public opposition grew this week from moderate Republicans like Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, Tanden’s nomination neared an implosion, Politico noted.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another moderate, has not yet said whether she’ll support the nominee. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who sits on the Homeland Security committee, has also not indicated how she’ll vote on Tanden.

Tanden tweeted that Collins was “the worst,” compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Voldemort, the Harry Potter villain, and insulted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who chairs the Budget committee.

Sanders was not consulted before President Joe Biden’s nomination of Tanden,  Politico said citing a source close to the process.

During her confirmation hearing, Tanden said she felt “badly” about the tweets and vowed that her “approach will be radically different.”

READ MORE:

Manchin set to derail Neera Tanden’s nomination; could torpedo Vivek Murthy as well (February 21, 2021)

Neera Tanden highlights her India born mother’s struggle in  America (February 9, 2021)

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