A Senate committee will postpone its confirmation hearing for Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, that was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning.
“We are postponing the business meeting because members are asking for more time to consider the nominee,” a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee aide told Axios who first reported the postponement.
“The president deserves to have a team in place that he wants, and we’re going to work with our members to figure out the best path forward,” the aide added.
Much of the criticism against Tanden has been for past tweets that used name-calling targeted at some of the lawmakers now deciding her fate.
Tanden had referred to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “Voldemort,” and “Moscow Mitch.” She also once tweeted that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” while calling Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) “pathetic” and “the worst.”
Ironically, many of the same Republicans who are prepared to torch Tanden for lacking decorum on Twitter have readily excused harsh language and aggressive attacks in tweets from members of their own party.
The news of the delayed hearing from one of the committees tasked with advancing Tanden’s confirmation comes after several senators expressed opposition to the Biden nominee.
A senior aide on the Senate Budget Committee, whose hearing was also was postponed, told CNN that committee chair Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had called Tanden on Tuesday night to inform her of the committee’s plans to postpone the hearing.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement on Wednesday morning lauding Tanden’s expertise in policy, in spite of mounting criticism.
Neera Tanden is a leading policy expert who brings critical qualifications to the table during this time of unprecedented crisis.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 24, 2021
Although the White House has defended Tanden, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said last week that he would not vote to confirm her and House Democrats have backup plans in the works for a replacement, according to a separate report.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Collins has said she will vote against Tanden’s confirmation.
In a statement beating the hollow drum of bipartisan unity, Collins said that Tanden’s “past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”
Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have also signaled they would vote against Tanden’s confirmation.