President Biden remains “committed” to naming Neera Tanden to his administration after her nomination to be White House budget director failed due to her insult-laden tweets attacking senators.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday at her daily press briefing that “the president remains interested in and committed to finding her position in the administration and taking advantage of all her talents.”
Tanden’s social media barbs as president of the Democratic Party-aligned Center for American Progress earned bipartisan condemnation on Capitol Hill, where senators said they were incongruous with Biden’s promotion of political civility.
It’s unclear if the White House would seek another Senate-confirmed role for Tanden, or she would be given a position that doesn’t require confirmation, such as a senior White House advisory role.
Tanden withdrew her nomination to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget last month after facing increasingly long odds of confirmation.
At least one Republican vote was needed in the evenly divided Senate after centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he opposed Tanden due to her mean remarks about his colleagues.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the last remaining GOP swing votes, said she was surprised to learn she was among Tanden’s targets. Tanden in 2017 accused Murkowski of being “high” on her “own supply.”
Tanden’s tweets also trashed the 2016 presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as Russia’s choice against Democratic Party favorite Hillary Clinton.
Sanders, an independent self-described socialist who caucuses with Democrats, did not take a public position on Tanden’s nomination. But he expressed concern about her solicitation of corporate donations to the Center for American Progress.
Tanden’s confirmation hearings featured a colorful accounting of her attack tweets.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reminded Tanden, “You wrote that Susan Collins is ‘the worst,’ that Tom Cotton is a ‘fraud,’ that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz. You called Leader McConnell ‘Moscow Mitch’ and Voldemort.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) quipped, “You called Sen. Sanders everything but an ignorant slut!”
Biden warned presidential appointees during a video conference on his first day in office that he would fire them “on the spot” if they show “disrespect” to others in their professional conduct.