Senate

Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday he will vote against Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the latest Republican swing vote to come out against her.

When asked if he’d support Tanden’s nomination, he simply told the Capitol press pool, “No.”

“I said ‘no’ and that’s all I’m going to say,” he responded when pressed for a reason.

Grassley’s office pointed to his remarks to the pool when asked for the senator’s reasoning behind his opposition.

The Iowa senator is the latest in a mushrooming number of centrist Republicans to come out against Tanden, whose nomination is hanging by the thinnest of threads in the Senate.

She is facing broad rebukes over past tweets offering fiery criticism of senators on both sides of the aisle.

In some of the past tweets that have drawn criticism, Tanden compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to “Harry Potter” villain Voldemort.

In another, she said that vampires had more heart than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). She has called Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “the worst” and referred to then-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) as “criminally ignorant.”

Tanden’s nomination was first thrown into jeopardy Friday when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a moderate with an independent streak, came out against her, specifically citing her tweets.

“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,” Manchin said in a statement. 

Several moderate Republicans, including Collins and Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mitt Romney (Utah), soon announced their own opposition. Grassley was among the Republicans the White House was still trying to win over, though some observers were skeptical he’d be convinced. 

Tanden’s nomination now rests almost entirely in the hands of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), essentially the only moderate Republican who has yet to say how she’ll vote.

If all 49 remaining Democrats back Tanden along with Murkowski, her nomination could squeak through with Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote. 

However, it remains unclear if Tanden will get the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with whom she has a fraught history, or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a centrist with a penchant for occasionally bucking her party.

Tags Bernie Sanders Chuck Grassley Jeff Flake Joe Manchin Kamala Harris Kyrsten Sinema Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Neera Tanden Rob Portman Susan Collins Ted Cruz

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