‘Neera Tanden in Biden team’ buzz, Republicans say no way


The buzz is that close Hillary Clinton aide Neera Tanden has been chosen by President-elect Joe Biden to head the powerful White House Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden has been a trailblazer for a very long time. When she became president of the Center for American Progress in 2011, she was the first-ever Indian American to head up a major Washington, DC think-tank.

Tanden, an alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Yale Law School, was reportedly a key official in developing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act during her tenure in the Obama administration.

However, opposition to Tanden was welling up Sunday night soon after the news of her selection leaked, because she is an outspoken critic of Republicans.

Neera Tanden, who has (made) an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed,” tweeted a spokesperson for Republican US Senator John Cornyn.

Josh Holmes, who was the chief of staff of Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, insinuated that Biden may be putting her up so the Republicans can get the satisfaction of knocking down one of his nominees, and let others pass.

Holmes tweeted: “And there’s the sacrifice to the confirmation gods.”

If confirmed, Tanden, a veteran of Democratic election campaigns, will oversee the budget process for the entire government on behalf of the President and have a wide range of responsibilities for management of various federal agencies and personnel and for legislative coordination.

Even if Democrats gain control of the Senate, she may have trouble finding unanimous support of non-Republican senators because of her work for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns when she vigorously opposed US Senator Bernie Sanders.

And if Tanden gets the job, she will have to work with Congress to get the budget through.

She was one of the vehement critics of Trump and has said his “actions and words are tearing the country apart, and it falls upon every government official of both parties and every citizen to reject his call.”

Tanden had earlier worked for former President Bill Clinton’s campaign and went on to work at the White House as an associate director for domestic policy and as an adviser to Hillary Clinton.

When Hillary ran successfully for US senator, Tanden was her deputy campaign manager and became her legislative director after her election.

She advised Clinton’s presidential campaign and was tipped for a senior White House job were Hillary to win.

Some of her personal emails that a hacker got from breaking into the emails of John Podesta, a former counsellor to Obama, caused embarrassment for her as they revealed her blunt views about some politicians, sometimes with four-letter obscenities.

Tanden has also reportedly faced criticism for her handling of a sexual harassment and retaliation complaint at the CAP, which she still heads.

(with inputs from IANS)