Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced on Monday morning that she won’t be providing the one Republican vote President Joe Biden needs to confirm his likely doomed nominee for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, Neera Tanden, who once called Collins “the worst” on Twitter.
“Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” Collins said in a statement. “Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”
“In addition, Ms. Tanden’s decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency,” the GOP senator continued. “Should Congress need to review documents or actions taken by OMB, we must have confidence that the Director will be forthcoming.”
Collins’ decision signals an eyebrow-raising 180 from the senator’s tolerance for mean tweets, inexperience, and lack of transparency from government officials during the Trump administration, including ex-President Donald Trump himself, as she voted to confirm virtually all of his controversial appointees. Other Republican senators have similarly cited Tanden’s incendiary tweets in their opposition to her nomination.
Tanden said during a confirmation hearing that she “deeply” regrets and apologizes for her “past language.”
Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been scrambling to find another vote for Tanden after conservative Democratic senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced on Friday that he would vote against her confirmation due to her “overtly partisan” remarks about certain senators on both sides of the aisle. Manchin’s opposition in the Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority means a vote for the OMB nominee will need to come from the GOP.
A source told CNN on Sunday that Tanden’s outreach to both Democratic and Republican senators “is continuing into next week.”
Following Collins’ announcement on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki asserted that Biden would continue to fight for Tanden, tweeting that the administration was “looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation.”