WASHINGTON—President Biden’s pick to lead the White House budget office was in deeper peril Monday after two swing Republican senators said they would vote against her, underscoring the power of centrist lawmakers in the closely divided Senate.
Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) said Monday they would oppose Neera Tanden’s nomination to be Office of Management and Budget director, saying her past statements and tweets showed she was too divisive to hold the position.
Their announcements came after Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat, on Friday said he would oppose Ms. Tanden’s nomination because of her sharp criticism of Republicans. That meant she would need to get at least one GOP vote to be confirmed, and both Mr. Romney and Ms. Collins had been seen as possibly supporting her.
Ms. Tanden has “neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” Ms. Collins said, adding that her past actions “demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.” Mr. Romney “believes it’s hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets,” said Arielle Mueller, Mr. Romney’s spokeswoman.
The trio are among a handful of senators who have been willing to cross party lines on contentious votes, including Supreme Court nominees and impeachment.