Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick

Greg Nash

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), two prominent Senate progressives, voiced support Monday for President-elect Joe Biden’s controversial choice to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden.

“Neera Tanden is smart, experience, and qualified for the position of OMB Director. The American people decisively voted for change — Mitch McConnell shouldn’t block us from having a functioning government that gets to work for the people we serve,” Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, tweeted.

Brown tweeted in reaction to a statement made Sunday by a spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) predicting that Tanden “stands zero chance of being confirmed” in the Senate.

Warren retweeted Brown’s show of support for Tanden and wrote: “I agree.”

Tanden is controversial among both Senate Republicans and progressives for different reasons.

Drew Brandewei, a spokesman for Cornyn, called out Tanden for “an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican senators’ whose votes she’ll need.”

Tanden, for example, hit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Twitter over the summer for not pressing President Trump to wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 and cheered on Twitter when the GOP leader was referred to as “Moscow Mitch.”

She has also come under fire from the left for supporting cuts to Medicare and Social Security when former President Obama was in talks with former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other congressional Republicans about reducing the federal deficit in 2012.

David Sirota, a prominent activist, the founder of The Daily Poster and an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign, pointed on Monday to Tanden’s past calls for cuts to entitlement programs.

In a February 2012 C-SPAN interview, Tanden said “we should have savings on entitlements” and noted the Center for American Progress, which she heads as president and chief executive, had put forward “ideas on proposals to reform the beneficiary structure of Social Security.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Biden cabinet Boehner Center for American Progress Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden John Boehner John Cornyn Medicare Mitch McConnell Neera Tanden Office of Management and Budget OMB Sherrod Brown Social Security

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