President Joe Biden’s agenda for his first 100 days can’t be criticized for a lack of ambition. But as key components of his policy priorities, from raising the national minimum wage to wage discrimination against workers with disabilities, have fallen victim to the filibuster, stakeholders in the Equality Act—one of his key legislative goals—grew increasingly frustrated with the White House’s white-knuckle commitment to an item that never appeared on his long list of commitments to voters during the campaign: confirming Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
For reasons both high-minded and mundane, Tanden’s nomination to the position hung by little more than a single thread, pinched in the ambivalent fingers of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) after nearly every moderate Republican in the Senate, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), said that they wouldn’t vote to confirm her. On Tuesday, Tanden announced that she was withdrawing her nomination, despite White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s promise that the administration was “fighting our guts out” for Tanden’s confirmation, no matter the vanishingly long odds.
Outside the administration, however, advocates for more popular priorities—and, arguably, more important ones—are concerned that their agenda items were left to buckle under the weight of the now-foiled efforts to bring Tanden across the finish line.