- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The White House said Wednesday that they are standing by Neera Tanden, President Biden’s pick to lead the White House budget office.

“There’s one nominee to lead the budget department — her name is Neera Tanden. And that’s who we’re continuing to fight for,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Two Senate panels postponed planned votes on Ms. Tanden‘s nomination Wednesday amid questions about whether there is sufficient support for her to get confirmed as the next director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“I’m not saying she’s a smoked turkey, but the smoker’s heating up,” said Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican.

Sen. Gary Peters, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said members wanted more time to review the nomination.

Asked if he was optimistic Ms. Tanden will be confirmed, Mr. Peters said: “I’m always cautiously optimistic about everything, so that’s consistent.”

“But discussions are going on right now,” he said.

Both Mr. Peters’ committee and the Senate Budget Committee postponed planned votes on the nomination Wednesday.

Senators have raised concerns about Ms. Tanden‘s prolific and derogatory social media history, where she targeted people across the political spectrum ranging from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat.

Mr. Manchin said last week he will not vote for Ms. Tanden, meaning she will need support from at least one Republican senator to win confirmation in the 50-50 Senate.

Some Senate Democrats said they see a double standard after Republicans spent four years pretending not to see former President Trump’s daily Twitter broadsides.

“I strongly support her, and I have been struck particularly by all this discussion about tweets,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat. “Because for four years, I’ve heard senators walking around saying I don’t read the tweets. Now all of a sudden, tweets seem to be driving a particularly important appointment.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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