Washington: Two Senate committees abruptly postponed on Wednesday preliminary votes on confirming Neera Tanden, the beleaguered Indian American nominee for a cabinet position, as the powerful director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
With the votes uncertain for her confirmation by the full Senate after a key Democratic Party Senator Joe Manchin opposed her, the Homeland Security and Budget Committees delayed the preliminary votes on approving her nomination.
Democratic Senator Gary Peters, who heads the Homeland Security Committee, said the delay was because “people needed a little more time to assess it.”
While there were media reports speculating that the postponement was a prelude to withdrawing her nomination, President Joe Biden’s Spokesperson Jen Psaki said he stood by her.
At her daily briefing, she downplayed the postponement saying that efforts were underway to get Senate support for her.
In the 100-member Senate that is evenly divided between the Democrats and Republican, Manchin refusing to back her tilts the balance away from the Biden nominee.
The administration is trying to get at least one Republican to support her, but so far four of the seven considered likely to vote with the Democrats have said that they would not support her.
Tanden has a history of intemperate Twitter attacks on politicians of all parties, which was cited by Manchin and the Republicans as the reason for opposing her.
She deleted about 1,000 tweets and has apologized for them.
One of those she attacked, Senator Bernie Sanders, is the chair of the Budget Committee.
Democrats have accused the Republicans of following double standards because they have stood by Trump who fired a steady stream of virulent tweets against his adversaries.