Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats look for plan B on filibuster Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter MORE (R-Alaska) said Wednesday that she hasn't made a decision on Neera TandenNeera TandenCapito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Senate backlog of Biden nominees frustrates White House Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare MORE's nomination, leaving President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stuck in limbo. 

"I saw that they pulled her from committee today, so it looks like I've got more time to be thinking about things," Murkowski said, referring to the decision by the Budget and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees to delay votes on her nomination. 

Murkowski's decision on Tanden is viewed as crucial in the White House's uphill bid to salvage her nomination. 


Because Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden: Negotiating assault weapons ban more difficult than infrastructure, reconciliation deal Biden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks MORE (D-W.Va.) has said he will oppose her, the White House needs to hold together the rest of the Democratic caucus and pick up at least one GOP senator. 

Murkowski is viewed as the final up-for-grabs GOP vote, after Republican Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (Maine), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump-backed bills on election audits, illegal voting penalties expected to die in Texas legislature The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (Utah) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased New Senate bill would take steps to protect AI-collected data Pro-Vance poll shows tight race in Ohio GOP Senate primary MORE (Ohio) all came out in opposition to her nomination. 

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) also hasn't said if she'll support Tanden. Opposition from either Sinema or Murkowski would be the formal death knell for Biden's pick, marking the first nomination that he would need to pull since taking office last month. 

Murkowski said that she's been in touch with the White House, which has offered to make Tanden "available for my questions." That meeting, she said, had not yet happened. 

"I've talked to the White House about it," she said. 


Asked what the message was from the White House about why she should support Tanden, Murkowski summed it up as: "The president nominated her." 

The White House has stood behind Tanden's nomination, even as it's faced a string of setbacks this week.  

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin: Negotiators to miss Friday target for deal on reconciliation bill Democrats look for plan B on filibuster The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said that Democrats were working to try to find the votes to get her confirmed. 

"We're doing a kind of a full-scale effort, including the White House and members to find support," Durbin said. 

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants MORE (I-Vt.) added that it was "no great secret" that Tanden didn't currently have the votes to be confirmed but didn't rule out that she could find them. 


Tanden has come under widespread scrutiny from Republicans because of her previous tweets criticizing several senators including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Murkowski. 

Murkowski appeared unaware that she had been the target of one of Tanden's tweets, who wrote in 2017 that Murkowski sounded "high on your own supply" about the GOP tax bill.

"I didn't know, I was telling everybody, I didn't realize," Murkowski said. She then paused to read the tweet on a reporter's phone before adding, "high on my own supply, that's interesting. Should I ask her? My own supply of what?"

"See that goes to show how much homework I still have to do on her if I didn't even know that she had sent out a tweet about me," Murkowki said.