Romney will oppose Tanden’s nomination to lead OMB

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) will oppose Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), underscoring the dwindling number of potential GOP supporters for her confirmation.

“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,” Romney’s office said in a statement, confirming his opposition.

Tanden’s nomination appears to be in limbo, even as two committees are expected to hold a vote this week to send her nomination to the full Senate.

Because Democrats hold a 50-50 majority, they could have confirmed Tanden to lead OMB without GOP support as long as every member of the Democratic caucus had voted to confirm her. That would have allowed Vice President Harris to break a tie.

But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus, announced late last week that he would not support Tanden, leaving her short of the 50 votes needed.

“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” Manchin said.

President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have indicated that they are not willing to drop her nomination for now.

“I am working with President Biden to find the extra votes so she can be passed. I think she would be a very good OMB leader,” Schumer told reporters in New York on Sunday.

Tanden will need at least one GOP senator to support her nomination in order to be confirmed because of Manchin’s opposition. If additional Democratic senators came out against her, she would need more GOP support.

But she’s facing a shrinking pool of potential GOP “yes” votes.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the most moderate members of the GOP caucus, announced on Monday morning that she could not support Tanden.

“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,” Collins said.

“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,” she added.

Spokespeople for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another potential swing vote, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tanden has drawn scrutiny and apologized for her previous tweets in which, among other things, she compared Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to Voldemort, the villain in the “Harry Potter” series, and called Collins “the worst.”

Tags Biden cabinet Charles Schumer Joe Biden Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Neera Tanden Office of Management and Budget OMB Susan Collins

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