Joe Biden withdrew Neera Tanden’s appointment as White House budget manager as he suffered the first big setback in his efforts to build his cabinet.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the US president said he had accepted Tanden’s request to withdraw from the Senate confirmation process for the post, which is one of the administration’s main economic positions.
Tanden’s chances of securing approval from the upper house of Congress had been challenged after at least one Democrat in addition to almost all Republicans signaled their opposition to his nomination.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no way forward to get confirmation, and I don’t want the ongoing review of my appointment to be a distraction from your other priorities,” said Tanden in a letter to Biden published by White. Housing.
Biden said he had “the utmost respect for his track record, his experience and his advice” and suggested that Tanden would be hired for another post in the administration.
Biden’s inability to secure confirmation from Tanden was a rare dud on cabinet selections by the newly-elected president, who has managed to fill most high-level positions with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Tanden’s confirmation was compromised after Republican senators said she did not have the right temper for the job due to a series of abrasive, partisan tweets that criticized them over the years.
Joe manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, agreed with the Republican criticism, losing her chances. In a last ditch effort to save her confirmation, Tanden spoke this week with Lisa Murkowski, the Republican Senator from Alaska who was still undecided, but those talks appear to have failed.
As Tanden’s chances of winning confirmation dwindled, Senate members also focused on possible replacements, Shalanda Young, Biden’s choice to be deputy budget manager, emerging as the frontrunner.
Gene Sperling, who served as director of the National Economic Council for Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, had also been seen as a potential candidate for the post.