It looked like Neera Tanden might have long odds in being confirmed as the head of the White House budget office, and "new hurdles" emerged on Wednesday, reports the AP. Two Senate committees postponed voting on her nomination, with a Democratic aide on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee telling Politico, "We are postponing the business meeting because members need more time to consider the nominee." The Senate Budget Committee, which will also vote on Tanden, didn't provide a reason. With the Senate split 50-50 and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin saying he intends to vote against her, Tanden needs to scoop up one GOP vote—but moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney said Monday they would oppose her.
All three senators cited her history of mean tweets as a driver in their decision. She has apologized and deleted many of them. GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has yet to say which way she'll vote, and the AP sees Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as another "unknown." White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted a series of statements in favor of Tanden after news of the first postponement emerged Wednesday. Among them: that "Tanden is a leading policy expert who brings critical qualifications to the table during this time of unprecedented crisis"—a statement Politico sees as indicating that the White House isn't waving the white flag in defeat. The Washington Post sees the position Tanden is gunning for as a key one, as the budget office will handle both writing Biden's budget and "overseeing the disbursal" of Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package should it be approved in the coming days.
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