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White House Chief Of Staff: Tanden Will Be Confirmed, But We’ll Put Her Somewhere Else If She’s Not

Feb 24, 2021

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Wednesday that the Biden administration has been “fighting our guts out” to get Neera Tanden confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget and that she will be confirmed to the position — despite one Democratic senator already opposing her nomination, and despite the list of Republican senators who would consider voting to confirm Tanden shrinking smaller and smaller.

“Let me be clear: We’re going to get Neera Tanden confirmed. That’s what we’re working for, and she will prove her critics wrong as an outstanding budget director that works with people on both sides of the aisle. That’s what I think her record truly shows,” Klain told MSNBC host Joy Reid.

But Klain also said that if Tanden weren’t confirmed, she would be placed in a position “that doesn’t require Senate confirmation.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced last week that he would not vote to confirm Tanden, leaving the White House scrambling to find a Republican senator to replace his vote and bring them to a narrow majority. But Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) have all announced they will oppose Tanden, as has Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), a former White House budget director himself.

“I believe that the tone, the content, and the aggressive partisanship of some of Ms. Tanden’s public statements will make it more difficult for her to work effectively with both parties in this role,” said Portman in a statement, in which he also remarked: “I’m also concerned about her decision to delete thousands of tweets in the month after the election and the lack of transparency in her decision to do so, as well as her lack of experience on key issues for OMB, such as the regulatory and budgeting processes.”

Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, has apologized for her past statements. According to Politico, advocacy groups are trying to convince two senators to vote to confirm Tanden: Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Murkowski, who recently said she was still looking into Tanden’s nomination, suggested she still had a lot of research to do after a reporter asked her about a tweet Tanden sent that accused the Alaska senator of being “high on your own supply.” Tanden sent the tweet back in 2017, after Murkowski tweeted about taxes and the GOP tax bill, and never deleted it.

“‘High on my own supply,’ that’s interesting,” Murkowski, who reportedly didn’t realize Tanden had also criticized her on social media, told reporters Wednesday, according to Forbes. “Apparently I’m gonna have to do more looking into what she thinks of me.”

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