The White House withdrew Neera Tanden’s nomination to serve as President Biden’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Tuesday night, after her confirmation appeared unlikely. Tanden’s nomination received bipartisan scrutiny given her history of toxic rhetoric.
While the administration's withdrawal of Tanden’s nomination is a win for Republicans, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) urged the GOP to focus on stopping the confirmation of Xavier Becerra, who President Biden hopes will lead his Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sasse accused Becerra of an “assault on the First Amendment,” referring to his lawsuits related to the contraceptive mandate, and deemed him a “culture war super-soldier.”
B) Sasse: Now that Washington is done talking about Tanden’s tweets, the Senate should focus on Xavier Becerra’s assault on the First Amendment. We don’t need a culture war super-soldier leading the Department of Health and Human Services— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 3, 2021
During his confirmation before the Senate Finance Committee, Sasse slammed Becerra for his attacks on religious liberty. In his capacity as California's Attorney General, Becerra targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting compliance with the contraceptive mandate. Becerra denied this, but Sasse brought the receipts.
This is just a devastating exchange for Becerra from @BenSasse.— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) February 24, 2021
Sasse takes apart the mindless defenses of his lawsuits against Little Sisters of the Poor, revealing that in the end.. it was just about bullying nuns and attacking religious liberty. pic.twitter.com/evOd0oyIsJ
Tanden is the first of Biden’s nominees to be withdrawn, and was viewed as one of the more controversial picks by the president. Becerra is still under consideration by the Senate, while other nominees, including Merrick Garland, are seeing easier confirmation processes.