President Biden: Live Updates on Stimulus, Vaccinations and Neera Tanden

If Republican senators are united in opposition to President Biden’s stimulus bill, the chamber’s Democrats will need to be united in order to pass it.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

After conceding defeat in his effort to win Senate confirmation of Neera Tanden as his budget director, President Biden will soon face another early test in the closely divided Senate as he tries to win passage of his economic stimulus plan.

Mr. Biden issued a statement Tuesday night in which he said that Ms. Tanden had requested that her nomination to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget be withdrawn. Ms. Tanden had drawn criticism for her history of Twitter posts attacking lawmakers, leaving her confirmation in doubt.

“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel,” Mr. Biden said of Ms. Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress and a longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton.

The demise of Ms. Tanden’s nomination offered a reminder of the math problem Mr. Biden must contend with for his cabinet picks and the stimulus measure: If Republican senators are united in opposition, he cannot afford any Democratic defections.

Ms. Tanden’s downfall offered a slow-motion demonstration of that vulnerability. Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, came out against her nomination last month, meaning that she would need the backing of at least one Republican senator to be confirmed. No such support ever materialized, though Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska had not publicly stated her position by the time Mr. Biden announced he would withdraw the nomination.

Mr. Biden has been working to avoid the same fate with his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, which the House approved last weekend without any support from Republicans. The Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday to start debate on the measure.

A group of Republican senators pitched Mr. Biden on a scaled-down relief plan last month, but there is no sign that any of them, or any other members of their conference, will end up supporting the far costlier plan that Democrats are advancing.

If no Republican support emerges, Mr. Biden must keep all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus on board.

He sought to rally Democratic senators on Tuesday, joining a regular Democratic conference call and urging the lawmakers to stick together to reject poison pill amendments that Republicans are expected to offer when the Senate considers the bill.

“The public really needs it. This plan is composed of the right elements. It’s popular. Republicans like it. Republican mayors and governors like it. The bill will be chock-full of things that Republicans have asked for,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virgina, said, recounting the message from Mr. Biden. “So, you know, let’s do it.”

Rioters confronting law enforcement on Jan. 6, including Robert Gieswein, left, in a vest, and Dominic Pezzola, in gray jacket with a beard. They have both been charged in connection with the attack.

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