Biden’s Budget Director Pick Neera Tanden Draws Criticism From Republicans and Progressives

President-elect Joe Biden announced he would nominate longtime Democratic operative Neera Tanden to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, drawing criticism from both sides.

Biden announced that he will pick Tanden to head the OMB, which is charged with building out the president’s budget proposals and reviewing policies for their financial impact.

Tanden was a senior adviser in Bill Clinton’s administration before working for Hillary Clinton during her stint in the Senate and on her 2008 presidential campaign. Tanden later served as the director of domestic policy on Obama’s campaign. She went on to advise Clinton’s ill-fated 2016 campaign as well.

Tanden also headed up the Center for American Progress, former Clinton official John Podesta’s centrist think tank.

GOP says she has “no chance”:

A spokesperson for Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said on Twitter that Tanden has “no chance” of being confirmed.

“Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed,” the spokesman said.

Tanden is a prolific tweeter who has frequently sparred with people she disagrees with.

Progressives like those that staffed the Bernie Sanders campaign have likewise cited Tanden’s adversarial tweets as cause for concern.

Progressives focus on past comments:

Some progressives have also zeroed in on comments Tanden made about Social Security during the Obama era.

The Daily Poster noted that Tanden “touted her think tank’s 2010 proposal to reduce Social Security benefits in 2012, as Biden was pushing for such cuts in the Obama administration.”

Tanden pointed to Social Security as an area that could be cut during a 2012 interview, noting that Obama already “has $300 million in his budget in cuts in Medicare.”

“That comes on top of cuts in Medicare for the Affordable Care Act. So he has put specific cuts in the budget in Medicare,” she said. “And they had savings in Medicaid in the past. I think the question really is: If we’re going to have a deal to address long-term deficit reduction, we need to put both entitlements on the table as well as taxes.”

“We should have savings on entitlements, and the Center for American Progress has put forward ideas on proposals to reform the beneficiary structure of Social Security — some of our progressive allies aren’t as excited about that as we are,” she added. “But we’ve put those ideas on the table. We think that those are legitimate ideas that need to be part of a proposal where everyone’s at the table. We don’t just ask middle-class Americans to sacrifice. We ask all Americans.”


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