Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will not be supporting President Joe Biden’s nominee, Neera Tanden, to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to a statement released on Monday.
“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,” Collins said Monday. “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,” Collins added.
The senator also said Tanden’s “decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”
The aforementioned tweets were demeaning of Republicans and Senator Bernie Sanders, D-VT. For example, she once called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “Voldemort.” At the time of the tweets, Tanden held a position with The Center for American Progress.
Earlier this month Tanden told the Senate Budget Committee that if confirmed she wouldn’t take such stances as those of her past tweets. “And I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments, and my approach will be radically different,” she said in response to Sen. Sanders’s question regarding her tweets.
“Should Congress need to review documents or actions taken by OMB, we must have confidence that the Director will be forthcoming,” she said.
“The OMB needs steady, experienced, responsive leadership. I will vote against confirming Ms. Tanden.”
Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) also said that he would oppose Tanden’s nomination to head the White House budget office.
“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,” Manchin said in a statement. “For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”
The Senate is divided 50-50 between the parties. With Manchin and Collins’s opposition, Democrats will need at least one GOP vote to confirm her on the Senate floor. Democrats would only have 49 votes for Tanden if all Republican senators and Manchin oppose her.
Biden has said he does not intend to pull Tanden’s nomination and that he believes she will be confirmed. “I think we are going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” Biden said Friday.
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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