Neera Tanden, president of the left-leaning Middle for American Progress, is going through an more and more daunting battle for affirmation as finances director within the Biden administration after the Republican senator Susan Collins got here out in opposition to her.
In a press release on Monday, Collins mentioned Tanden was unfit to run the Workplace of Administration and Finances, which performs a robust function in overseeing federal funds and regulation.
“Neera Tanden has neither the expertise nor the temperament to steer this crucial company,” the senator from Maine mentioned.
In response, the White Home press secretary, Jen Psaki, backed Tanden, who she mentioned was “an achieved coverage skilled who could be a wonderful finances director”.
“We look ahead to the committee votes this week and to persevering with to work towards her affirmation by engagement with each events,” Psaki mentioned.
However Collins’ opposition delivers a blow to Joe Biden as he struggles to fill his cupboard. A number of different key nominations are lining up for affirmation within the Senate however Collins made her transfer simply three days after the Democratic senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, mentioned he would vote in opposition to Tanden.
With the Senate cut up 50-50, Manchin’s defection leaves the administration needing to steer not less than one average Republican to come back on board. Consideration is prone to change to different centrists, notably Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Paradoxically for a celebration that simply endured 4 years of Donald Trump’s offensive and intemperate tweets, a lot of the Republican assault on Tanden, who has robust hyperlinks to Hillary Clinton, is targeted on her social media report.
Collins famous Tanden’s determination quietly to delete greater than 1,000 tweets within the days after the election. A number of of the tweets attacked Republican members of Congress, together with Collins, whom Tanden described as “the worst”.
Collins mentioned the deletion of the tweets “raises considerations about her dedication to transparency”.
The White Home is on tenterhooks with its efforts to fill cupboard posts. On Monday one of the crucial crucial positions – that of lawyer basic, the nation’s high prosecutor – goes earlier than the Senate judiciary committee.
It will likely be an particularly poignant second for the nominee, Merrick Garland, who 5 years in the past was denied a affirmation listening to for a seat on the supreme court docket by the Republican Senate chief, Mitch McConnell.
Past Garland, Deb Haaland is up for affirmation hearings as inside secretary and Xavier Becerra as well being and human companies secretary.