Republican Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins will oppose Neera Tanden’s nomination as budget chief — dealing a crushing blow to any hope Democrats had left of her confirmation.
In separate statements released Monday, both Collins (R-Me.) and Romney (R-Ut.) cited Tanden’s harsh rhetoric towards lawmakers, including Collins, on both sides of the aisle behind their reasoning for why she shouldn’t be confirmed to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
“Senator Romney has been critical of extreme rhetoric from prior nominees, and this is consistent with that position,” a spokeswoman for the Utah senator said, “He believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets.”
Collins argued that 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.”
The two moderate Republicans were viewed as the most likely to consider supporting Tanden’s nomination, which will now require GOP support after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced Friday he would oppose her.
Manchin, one of the most influential senators as a moderate in a tightly divided body, also cited Tanden’s heated language as reason for his opposition.
“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” the West Virginia pol said.
“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”
Tanden could not afford to lose a single Democratic vote in the 50-50 split Senate, and she cannot necessarily count on every remaining member of the party.
The longtime Clinton ally has an extremely rocky history with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has not said how he will vote on her nomination.
The OMB nominee is a prolific tweeter and has used the platform to issue bombastic criticisms of lawmakers — as well as voters — who identify to her right and left.
After posts targeting lawmakers whose vote she would need for confirmation resurfaced in November, the vocal Democrat deleted over 1,000 tweets.
The tweets, some deleted and some still live, reference GOP lawmakers by name, tagging them, and blasting them for supporting former President Donald Trump, or in some cases, attacking them personally.
In an effort to address the controversy over her comments, she apologized for her rhetoric during her opening remarks at her Senate confirmation hearing.
“I deeply regret and apologize for my language and some of my past language. I recognize that this role is a bipartisan role, and I know I have to earn the trust of senators across the board,” she said earlier this month.
Despite her confirmation appearing to be mathematically impossible at this point, the White House is standing by the nomination.
Reached by The Post for comment following Romney and Collin’s announcements, a spokeswoman said their support for Tanden “still stands.”
When asked Friday about Tanden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties.”