U.S. Susan Collins said Monday that she will vote against President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the White House’s budget office.
The opposition from the Maine Republican could signal that any path forward for Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office on Management and Budget is rapidly narrowing after a key Democratic senator opposed her on Friday. Despite that defection and Collins’ opposition, the White House continues to back Tanden.
Tanden, the former president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, has drawn criticism for her use of Twitter to attack Republican lawmakers and even some Democrats and independents, including U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In a now deleted tweet, Tanden once called Collins “the worst.”
“Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend,” Collins said early Monday morning.
“The OMB needs steady, experienced, responsive leadership. I will vote against confirming Ms. Tanden,” Collins said.
Collins also took issue with Tanden’s deletion of thousands of tweets before her nomination was announced, saying that it “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”
The Office of Management and Budget oversees and implements the federal budget and is a key player in the executive branch’s fiscal agenda.
She is the latest senator to object to Tanden’s nomination. On Friday, Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he won’t vote to confirm her, saying her past “partisan statements” would create a “toxic” relationship between the White House and Congress.
His opposition peeled away a critical vote in the narrowly divided chamber. Tanden would need at least one Republican to back her to secure her post at the budget office, but Republicans signaled opposition to her “radioactive” nomination in December.
Biden has dismissed suggestions that he would withdraw Tanden’s nomination, telling reporters Friday the “we are going to find the votes.”
The White House reaffirmed its support for Tanden on Monday. Press secretary Jen Psaki called her an “accomplished policy expert” and said the Biden administration will continue to work toward Nanden’s confirmation.