Biden withdraws budget director nomination amid opposition

Both Republican and Democratic US legislators had raised opposition to Neera Tanden’s nomination over her past tweets.

Neera Tanden testifies during a Senate committee hearing on February 10 [File: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters]

US President Joe Biden has withdrawn his nomination for the next director of the Office of Management and Budget, after United States legislators raised concerns about some of Neera Tanden’s past tweets.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Biden said he had accepted Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from contention.

“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,” he said.

The statement did not specify what other role Tanden would take up in the Biden administration.

Republican Senators and some Democrats had raised opposition to Tanden’s nomination over tweets she sent during former President Donald Trump’s time in office.

Tanden previously served as president of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning think-tank, and was a former top Senate aide to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

She had frequently criticised independent Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters online.

Biden said on Tuesday that he looks forward to having Tanden serve a role in his administration, but did not say what role that would be [File: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

NPR also reported that she also referred to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell as “Voldemort”, the Harry Potter villain, among other tweets aimed at US legislators.

“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,” Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said in a statement last month.

On Tuesday, the White House also shared the letter Tanden sent to Biden withdrawing her name from contention.

“I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation,” she wrote.

“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities.”

This is the first confirmation defeat for the Biden White House, which so far has won Senate approval of all its cabinet selections.

Source: Al Jazeera