Biden picks Obama communications director to lead confirmation team: report
President-elect Joe Biden has enlisted former White House communications director Jen Psaki to spearhead Senate confirmation battles, Politico reported Wednesday.
Control of the Senate will come down to two January runoffs in Georgia, with Democrats achieving a 50-50 split in a best-case scenario. As a result, the new Biden administration may face a series of battles as Biden names his Cabinet.
Reema Dodin, who serves as floor director for Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), will serve in a similar capacity on legislative fights, according to Politico.
The Biden team is set to expand its war room in the next week, adding a combination of campaign staffers and Capitol Hill volunteers.
The team is also reportedly considering mounting public relations offensives for Cabinet nominees, introducing them to America at large ahead of Senate hearings to increase their public support.
Biden has touted his capacity to work across the aisle and bargain with Republicans, but publicly opposing his nominations will also likely be an early audition for GOP 2024 hopefuls in the chamber, Politico notes.
Psaki, who currently works as a senior transition adviser to Biden, has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the Trump administration’s refusal to allow access to materials relating to national security and the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re not interested in having a food fight with the [General Services Administration] administrator, or anyone really, we just want to get access to intelligence information, to threat assessments, and to the ongoing work on COVID, so that we can prepare to govern, to bring the American people together and to get the pandemic under control,” Psaki told CNBC last week.
A Biden transition official told The Hill that the president-elect’s team is “operating under belief that the Senate will be under substantial pressure from the public and voters across the country — as well as from their allies in the business community and throughout Washington — to take action on the economy and public health crises, to confirm nominees and rebuild federal agencies with competent public servants.”
Updated at 9:44 a.m.