Senate committee postpones votes on Tanden to lead OMB, another sign confirmation in jeopardy

The postponements could spell the end of Tanden's already imperiled nomination fight
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Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden
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Two Senate hearings on the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Budget and Management were abruptly postponed Wednesday morning – a clear indication that President Biden's attempt to appoint her to the top administration post is in jeopardy.

CNN reports that an official with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee says senators want more time to consider the nominee, who's facing intense scrutiny for past comments about members of Congress.  

In the 50-50 split Senate, Tanden, if a Senate committee votes in favor of giving her a final floor vote, would need support from at least on Republican senator to be confirmed.

West Virginia Democrat Sen.Joe Manchin, a moderate, publicly declared last week that he would not vote for Tanden. He was followed Monday by moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins, of Maine, and Mitt Romney, of Utah.

However, if Tanden can rally the support the support moderate Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema, of Arizona, and Republican Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, she will have the votes she needs.

Sinema has not indicated how she will vote, though she sits on the Homeland Security committee. Murkowski recently said she will not make a decision until after the committee vote. 

The White House continues to support the Tanden nomination and has expressed optimism that she'll be confirmed.

On Tuesday, Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn advised Biden to withdraw Tanden's nomination in favor of a less inflammatory pick.

"My friendly advice to President Biden is to withdraw Neera Tanden's nomination and select someone who at the very least has not ... openly bashed people on both sides of the aisle that she happens to disagree with," he said.