Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief

Neera TandenNeera TandenThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Schumer back down on his deadline? Biden's budget vacancy raises eyebrows White House releases staff salaries showing narrowed gender pay gap MORE has withdrawn her nomination to head President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE's White House budget office after her prospects of Senate confirmation flamed out.

The White House made the announcement on Tuesday evening, capping a tumultuous few weeks surrounding the fight over her nomination.

Tanden, who would have been the first woman of color to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), faced scrutiny over mean tweets she had written about Republicans and progressive Democrats alike in her previous role heading the Center for American Progress think tank.


“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.”

Tanden is Biden's first Cabinet nominee to be withdrawn from consideration, making this an early blow for the president. The White House spent the past two weeks insisting there was a path to confirmation for Tanden and vowed to fight for her, even as her prospects dimmed.

Tanden is expected to be appointed to an administration role that does not require Senate confirmation.

A handful of names have circulated as potential replacements for Tanden. Shalanda Young, who on Wednesday underwent a confirmation hearing to be the deputy OMB director, is seen as the most likely nominee.

In her controversial tweets, many of which were deleted in recent months, Tanden compared Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellS.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Business groups urge lawmakers to stick with bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) to Voldemort and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis US, Germany reach deal on controversial Russian pipeline State, Dems call out Cruz over holds ahead of key Russian talks MORE (R-Texas) to a vampire and insinuated that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProtect women's right to choose how and when they work Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (I-Vt.) benefited from Russian hacking in the 2016 election.


In two confirmation hearings, she repeatedly apologized for the tweets and promised to strike a more collegial tone as a member of the administration.

Her nomination began to unravel when Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote MORE (D-W.V.) pulled his support, citing the need for comity. In the evenly divided Senate, that left Tanden reliant on support from centrist Republicans such as Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE (Maine), who also was a target of Tanden's tweets. That support was not forthcoming.

Tanden met with Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Schumer sets up Wednesday infrastructure showdown MORE (R-Alaska) this week in a last-ditch bid by the White House to attract Republican support for her nomination that would be necessary to overcome Manchin’s "no" vote.

Murkowski seemed surprised by the news and said Tuesday evening that she had not yet made up her mind about whether to support Tanden. The White House, she said, had not consulted her before pulling the nomination.

"They never asked," she said.


"Now, it means that I'm going to have to do the Alaska tutorial 101 all over again with whoever it is that they name," she said, referring to her Monday meeting with Tanden.

Sanders and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) also had not definitively said how they would vote on Tanden, meaning her nomination could have been doomed even with a "yes" from Murkowski.

Tanden's defenders said scuttling her nomination dripped of hypocrisy, noting that many of the senators who opposed her had gladly voted for sharp-tongued nominees such as Richard GrenellRichard GrenellBiden names nominee for US ambassador to Germany Grenell still interested in California recall bid Cleveland businessman jumps into Ohio Senate race: Trump 'victories' need to be protected MORE as U.S. ambassador to Germany despite derogatory comments about women's appearances and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDemocrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases Unsealed documents detail Trump and Biden efforts on reporter records MORE as attorney general despite comments on race that scuttled his nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986.

They also pointed to regular GOP support for former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE despite his ongoing habit of incendiary rhetoric, through tweets and otherwise, which demeaned rivals as "crazy," "little," "crooked," "low IQ" and other epithets, including racial ones such as "Pocahontas."

Some Democrats have also noted that the Biden nominees facing the greatest level of scrutiny are people of color, including Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandWe have a moral obligation to learn Native American history Haaland creates task force on Interior law enforcement after incidents draw scrutiny The Memo: Democrats face vulnerability as crime moves up voters' agenda MORE (D-N.M.), the nominee to lead the Interior Department, and Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraWhite House announces new funds for COVID-19 testing and vaccination amid delta surge Lawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act Biden administration seeks higher penalties for hospitals that don't publish prices MORE, the nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.

"Is there a pattern here??? Hope they’re using the same standard and not moving goal posts for only certain nominees," Rep. Grace MengGrace MengHouse Democrats include immigration priorities as they forward DHS funding bill Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer House sends anti-Asian hate bill to Biden's desk MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted after Manchin came out against the Tanden nomination.

Some senators have already voiced support for Young should she be tapped to lead the agency. Young testified on Tuesday before the Senate Budget Committee.

“You’ll get my support, maybe for both jobs,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform MORE (R-S.C.) quipped during the hearing.

In the meantime, the budget office will remain without a confirmed leader. Press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Biden administration stokes frustration over Canada White House blasts China's 'dangerous' rejection of coronavirus origins study MORE previously said the release of Biden’s first budget proposal will likely be delayed due to the delay in transition from the Trump administration.

Updated: 7:30 p.m.