In the first major setback to Joe Biden’s administration, the White House announced on Tuesday evening that it was withdrawing nomination of Neera Tanden who was tipped to be the President’s Budget Director.
The decision was arrived at after 50-year-old Indian-American Neera Tanden’s selection ran into formidable opposition over tweets that upset lawmakers. The decision in a way reflected the tenuous grip his Democrats have on the Senate.
Tanden had made critical comments on Twitter about Republicans and Democrats, and in 2016 about Manchin’s daughter, then the chief executive of pharmaceutical firm Mylan, after the firm hiked prices for its anti-allergy EpiPen.
Tanden drew flak for her remarks that she made over the last four years, more so against Republicans. Tanden had called Republican Senator Susan Collins “the worst” and Senator Mitch McConnell, the top Republican, “Moscow Mitch” and “Voldemort”.
Since the Senate was split 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris could have cast a tie-breaking vote in Tanden’s favour. But that option faded out after moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said he would not vote to approve Tanden.
“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 on Tuesday.
In a letter to President Biden which was released by the White House, Tanden acknowledged that her nomination had run into rough weather. “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 said.
Tanden apologized for harsh tweets about Republicans during her confirmation hearings, but ultimately was unable to convince senators.
Tanden is a former Hillary Clinton aide and worked with her during her first presidential campaign in 2008 as well as in 2016. She was nominated by Biden in November to take over as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.