Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden
Neera Tanden, who withdrew from consideration to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) amid bipartisan criticism, is joining the White House as a senior adviser to President Biden.
Biden had said upon Tanden’s OMB withdrawal in March that he would find a job for her in the White House that did not require Senate confirmation. CNN first reported Friday that she would be focused on potential ramifications should the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act, as well as a review of the U.S. Digital Service.
“Neera’s intellect, tenacity, and political savvy will be an asset to the Biden administration as she assumes a new role as Senior Advisor to the President,” John Podesta, founder and director of the Center for American Progress, said in a statement. “While we will be sorry to lose her considerable policy expertise and leadership at the Center for American Progress — an organization which we founded together in 2003 — I am exceptionally thrilled to see her step into a new position serving this White House and the American people.”
Tanden, who would have been the first woman of color to lead OMB, faced scrutiny over mean tweets she had written about Republicans and progressive Democrats alike in her previous role heading the think tank.
In her controversial tweets, many of which were deleted in recent months, Tanden compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to “Harry Potter” villain Voldemort and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to a vampire and insinuated that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) benefited from Russian hacking in the 2016 election.
Her nomination began to unravel when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pulled his support, citing the need for comity. In the evenly divided Senate, that left Tanden reliant on support from centrist Republicans such as Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who also was a target of Tanden’s tweets.
That support was not forthcoming.
The Biden administration has yet to nominate another OMB leader. Shalanda Young, who was confirmed as deputy director of the budget office, is widely viewed as the likely choice.