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Neera Tanden meets with senator who could sink or save her nomination to be budget chief

Confirmation of Biden's Budget pick in jeopardy
Biden faces confirmation battle with Office of Management and Budget nominee 02:00

The Republican senator who may determine whether or not Neera Tanden will be confirmed to be President Biden's budget director met with the embattled nominee on Monday.

"I can tell you that I met with her today, and we had a sit-down meeting which was good," Murkowski said. 

She told reporters that Tanden told her she was at the Capitol and asked if she could visit. Murkowski said she responded, "'Sure, come on up.'"

Murkowski said she hasn't decided whether to support Tanden's nomination and still has more "follow-up questions" for her.

Last week, a Washington Post reporter reminded Murkowski that Tanden tweeted in 2017 about the Alaska Republican "No offense but this sounds like you're high on your own supply. You know, we know, and everyone knows this is all garbage. Just stop."

Murkowski responded, "High on my own supply? That's interesting. Should I ask her, 'My own supply of what?'"

The nomination of Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget is in jeopardy after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would not support her nomination. Because the Senate is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, at least one Republican then must vote to confirm Tanden without Manchin's support. Then Vice President Kamala Harris would have to break the tie.

Other moderate Republicans who may have voted for Tanden — Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Rob Portman — all said they would not vote for her confirmation.

The objections to Tanden, who heads the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, take issue with her past tweets and comments targeting Republicans. She has compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "Voldemort," called Collins "the worst" and claimed Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, was a "fraud."

Two Senate committees who were set to meet last week delayed votes amid growing opposition from Republican senators.

The White House continues to stand behind Tanden. 

Melissa Quinn, Alan He and Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.

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