Ms. Tanden’s supporters continued to believe as recently as Tuesday that she would garner the support of every Senate Democrat besides Mr. Manchin if she were able to win Ms. Murkowski’s vote.
In an effort to secure that support, Ms. Tanden met with Ms. Murkowski on Monday. The senator walked Ms. Tanden through what she called her “Alaska Tutorial 101” — complete with maps of tribal lands, state waters and roadless areas — and outlined a series of concerns about the effect of some of the Biden administration’s economic proposals on her state.
Ms. Murkowski, speaking after the nomination was withdrawn, said, “I guess the message that it sends is that you really have to work your agenda, extra hard,” given the 50-to-50 split. “I think they probably thought well, OK, well we’ll have Manchin right? So we don’t need a Republican. Well, maybe it’s a lesson that you’re not always going to have Manchin.”
White House officials had remained adamant in their support for Ms. Tanden, who would have become the first woman of color to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Democrats also argued that Ms. Tanden was facing unfair scrutiny, particularly given that their Republican counterparts had spent years expressing no concern about the often offensive and racist posts made by Mr. Trump.
Ms. Psaki has declined to address questions about fallback nominees, including Gene Sperling, a former National Economic Council director, and Ann O’Leary, the former chief of staff to Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.
But some House Democrats have pushed hard in recent days for the White House to scrap Ms. Tanden’s nomination and substitute Shalanda Young, the first Black woman to serve as the staff director for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. She is Mr. Biden’s pick to be the No. 2 at the budget agency.
Some administration officials expect Mr. Biden to nominate Ms. Young to head the agency, though Mr. Sperling remains a contender. At least one top Republican, Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, who worked with Ms. Young as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued a statement this month declaring that she “would have my support, and I suspect many of my Republican colleagues would support her as well.”