First disappointment for Joe Biden. The American president announced, Tuesday, March 2, the withdrawal of the candidacy of Neera Tanden. Republican senators, but also a Democrat, had declared themselves against his arrival as director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House (OMB), a very powerful service, in particular responsible for developing the budget desired by the President.
“I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House have worked”Neera Tanden wrote to Joe Biden, according to a statement. “Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no way to get confirmation, and I don’t want the review of my appointment to be a distraction from your other priorities. “
Since the announcement of her appointment, Neera Tanden has been the target of a crossfire of criticism: Republicans said they were outraged by old comments targeting senators, while progressives close to Bernie Sanders considered her too centrist.
In the end, it was a more conservative Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, who largely condemned his chances by announcing, at the end of February, that he would not vote for her. The West Virginia senator believed that his statements “Overtly political” would have a “Toxic impact” on relations between Congress and the White House.
The White House tried to woo a handful of senators
Democrats have a very narrow majority in the upper house, with 50 senators versus 50 Republicans. In the event of a tie, Vice-President Kamala Harris has one vote to decide the vote.
Presidential nominations need 51 votes to be approved by the Senate. Any Democratic defection must therefore be compensated by a Republican vote.
The White House has therefore intensely courted a handful of senators, including moderate Republican Lisa Murkowski who still had not spoken on Tuesday, while Independent Senator Bernie Sanders seemed more than lukewarm about this nomination and a moderate Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema, kept the mystery on his vote.