Among those who continue to push for her confirmation is Mr. Klain, who said on MSNBC Wednesday night that the government is fighting for Ms. Tanden and that even if her nomination failed, she would get a job in the White House. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday, “The President nominated Neera Tanden because she is qualified, because she is experienced, because she has a proven record of working with people who agree and disagree with her.”
“We are still fighting for their confirmation,” she said.
Mr Biden raised eyebrows in some political circles when he nominated Ms. Tanden last year while two Senate seats in Georgia – and Senate control – remained undecided. After the Democrats won those elections, many members of the administration saw Ms. Tanden as a strong choice as budget manager, both because of her extensive experience in a number of policy areas and because of her personal history of being raised by a migrant single mother who herself relied on food stamps and other government support at times in Ms. Tanden’s childhood.
Mr Klain had pushed hard on the selection of Ms. Tanden, a longtime friend, although some other aides feared her selection would create a distraction and oblige the White House to spend political capital best on the 1.9 Billion Dollar Package Used for Economic Aid This is Mr. Biden’s first major legislative move.
White House officials believed the math on the back of the envelope looked good for Ms. Tanden’s confirmation, and even took into account concerns that she was viewed as partisan and bellicose on social media posts – thousands of which she deleted after Mr. Biden Victory in November.
The White House did not have promised Republican voices, but officials heard growls of encouragement. Mr Romney had told mutual contacts that he was inclined to give the president his choice, according to two people involved in the process.
Democrats close to the government said Ms. Tanden was expecting a level of Republican support, much like Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary who was confirmed that six Republicans had joined all 50 Democrats in support of him. It received confirmation this month from the US Chamber of Commerce, a powerful group of companies.
But on Thursday afternoon, the battle for Ms. Tanden’s confirmation came down to whether Mr. Biden’s team could get a single Republican together to support her nomination. After Iowa Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley said he would not vote to confirm Ms. Tanden, only one option remained on the table: Ms. Murkowski. Even Mr Romney said he could not support a candidate “who put out a thousand mean tweets”.