Susan Collins Joins Joe Manchin to Oppose Neera Tanden in Near-Fatal Blow to Nomination

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has said she will oppose President Joe Biden's nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

It comes after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would not support her nomination, reducing the chance of her being confirmed to the position by the narrowly-divided Senate.

In a statement reported by Politico Playbook, Collins said: "The Director of OMB is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the federal budget and plays a significant role in any Administration's fiscal and regulatory agenda.

"Congress has to be able to trust the OMB director to make countless decisions in an impartial manner, carrying out the letter of the law and congressional intent.

"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."

Her statement concluded: "The OMB needs steady, experienced, responsive leadership. I will vote against confirming Ms. Tanden."

Republicans have spoken in opposition to Tanden over tweets she previously sent taking aim at lawmakers. Tanden has previously said she regrets and takes responsibility for some of her previous comments. She has apologized for her language contributing to polarization in politics and said she can "work with anyone."

Prior to her nomination, it was suggested her previous statements could hurt any chances of confirmation.

The Democrats hold a majority in the Senate but this is razor-thin, with the upper chamber split 50-50. Democrats have a majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris, who holds the decisive vote in any tiebreak situations.

After Manchin's announcement of opposing Tanden, Democrats need at least one Republican to go the other way to cancel this out. Collins was one of those potential Republican votes.

In a statement on his opposition, Manchin 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.

"As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki previously described Tanden as "an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director," and said work would continue to have her confirmed with "engagement with both parties."

Biden was asked on Friday if he would pull Tanden's nomination, and said he would not, The Associated Press reports.

He said: "I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed."

A Senate vote on Tanden's nomination is due to take place this week.

Newsweek has contacted Collins and the White House for comment.

Neera Tanden at the Senate budget committee
Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), testifies during a Senate Committee on the Budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 10, 2021. ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images