Grassley Will Oppose Tanden’s Nomination as Budget Chief

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said Thursday he’ll vote against Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to head the White House budget office, further narrowing her chances for confirmation.

Grassley, of Iowa, had previously said he was undecided and was cited by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain as a potential GOP vote in favor of Tanden’s confirmation.

“I’m going to vote no,” Grassley told reporters, adding that he spoke to her before he made his decision.

Another potential Republican vote, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, declined to comment about the nomination.

Tanden needs support from at least one GOP senator to win confirmation in the 50-50 Senate after West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said last week he would oppose her.

In a clear sign the nomination is in trouble, Senate committees on Budget and on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs delayed votes planned for Wednesday on Tanden’s nomination, without announcing when they might be rescheduled.

Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders would not say if he would vote for Tanden when asked Thursday.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Right now she doesn’t have the votes.”

Sanders, who has been the target of caustic tweets from Tanden in the past, admonished her to be more civil during her Budget Committee hearing.

Klain said Wednesday that the administration is “fighting our guts out to get her confirmed.” But he also said the administration would find another role for her if she can’t get confirmed for the budget job.

Several senators regarded as potential GOP votes for Tanden have already announced their opposition, including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney. Members of both parties have been put off by Tanden’s sometimes acerbic criticism of lawmakers in the past, particularly on Twitter.

Tanden has apologized for her tweets, and she deleted many of them prior to her nomination hearings.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Wednesday he hoped to keep Republicans from crossing party lines to back Tanden, who has also drawn fire from Sanders for her past attacks on progressives as well. Some of Sanders’s former aides are also openly campaigning against her on Twitter.

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