Two moderate Republican senators delivered a serious blow to President Joe Biden's desired budget chief Monday by saying they will oppose the nomination.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced they will oppose Neera Tanden to become director of the Office of Management and Budget, per Politico.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Friday he also will vote against Tanden, citing her controversial Twitter feed in which she issued insulting comments and political attacks at numerous lawmakers.
Manchin's decision meant at least one Republican senator would be needed to confirm the nominee in an evenly divided Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris could deliver a tiebreaking vote.
The Collins and Romney announcements left Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as Tanden's last hope for confirmation. Murkowski had not said how she would vote.
Democrats were said to be uncertain if Tanden would receive a vote on the Senate floor. She would be the first Biden Cabinet nominee to fail.
Tanden was scheduled to receive a vote this week in the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which includes moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Sinema often is aligned with Manchin but has not declared her position on Tanden.
Manchin said Monday he wanted the Senate to "work in a bipartisan way," and added Tanden's nomination was "pretty toxic." When asked if the nomination should be withdrawn, Manchin suggested the Biden administration might be able to find GOP votes.
"I'm only one person," Manchin said. "They can find a Republican or two. They have to work on it. That's what bipartisanship is."
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said it was "too soon" to say whether Tanden would receive a vote or whether Biden should pull her nomination.
"We need to measure what support she may have among other Republicans," said Durbin, who added he would try to change Manchin's mind but "it may have passed that point."
Based on Collins' statement Monday, getting Republican votes could be unlikely.
"Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency," Collins said. "Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend."
Tanden's decision to delete tweets before her nomination, according to Collins, "raises concerns about her commitment to transparency."
A Romney source said the Utah senator "believes it's hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets."
Early Monday morning, the White House indicated it had no plans to withdraw Tanden.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted:
"Neera Tanden=accomplished policy expert, would be 1st Asian American woman to lead OMB, has lived experience having benefited from a number of federal programs as a kid, looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation."
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