After weeks of attempting to defend President Joe Biden’s controversial pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the White House has finally ceded to reality by withdrawing Neera Tanden’s nomination from consideration.
The Biden administration seems to be in no hurry to name a replacement, however, at least according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request”
Tanden’s nomination had faced widespread opposition in the Senate, with nearly every Republican and at least one Democrat signaling their intention to vote against her confirmation.
At the top of the list of criticism against her serving as OMB director was an extensive history as a fiery partisan who launched sharp attacks against ideological opponents across the partisan spectrum.
Several moderate senators whose votes would have been necessary to secure Tanden’s confirmation had publicly registered their opposition to her in the past couple of weeks, including a number of establishment Republicans and even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
With the chances of receiving support from at least 50 senators increasingly slim, the White House released a statement on the matter earlier this week.
“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden explained on Tuesday evening, going on to note that he would find another role for her within his administration.
“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,” he added. “She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work.”
“It now seems clear”
Tanden’s letter requesting to be taken out of consideration was also included in the Biden administration’s release. Describing the nomination as the “honor of a lifetime,” she told Biden that she appreciates his administration’s hard work on her behalf.
“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,” she concluded.
Psaki fielded a question from one reporter on Wednesday regarding a possible replacement, and she indicated that the administration is in no rush to announce a name.
“Well, let me first say that given Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination just last night, I would not expect — or you should not expect any announcement on a future nominee this week,” Psaki said. “In terms of the nomination, Neera Tanden, as we’ve talked about for some time in here, is someone who’s been — has been leading a — still leads, I should say — a think tank in Washington, D.C. She certainly saw that the path to her own confirmation was — was narrowed and did not look like there was a path forward.”