Neera Tanden’s harsh criticism could provoke reassuring chances from Republican senators

Elected President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Neera Tanden as its director of administration as director of the Office of Administration and Budget (OMB), but previous criticism of the Liberal Brain Trust CEO of GOP senators could lead to a confirmatory battle if Republicans retain control of the upper chamber.

An anonymous person familiar with the Biden transition process told the Associated Press Sunday the former vice president’s plan to elect Tandent, president and CEO of the American Center for Progress, for an influential role in OMB. Tanden is a divisive figure among some Democrats and an open critique of Senate Republicans as well as President Donald Trump.

If the two Republican incumbents – Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue – overcome their democratic challenges in the upcoming Senate elections, the GOP will retain a majority and determine the fate of Tanden’s ratification.

A spokesman for Senator John Cornyn on Sunday night, citing previous criticisms of Republicans in the upper house, insisted he had no chance of securing a position in the GOP-led senate.

“Neera Tanden, who has an infinite number of contemptuous remarks about Republican senators who will need her votes, has zero chance of confirmation,” Drew Brandewie, Cornyn’s communications director, tweeted.

Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden’s “Prosecution Now!” He speaks at a lecture. General Assembly in support of an immediate investigation into indictment articles against President Donald Trump in Washington DC on September 26, 2019.
Paul Morigi / Getty

Tanden accused Senate Republicans of hypocrisy last month after quickly passing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court as fewer than two remained until election day. “This rushed and illegal process is an insult to the American people and fundamentally changes the nature of the Supreme Court from one of justice and fairness to one of the branches of the Republican political agenda,” he wrote in a statement.

He also noted that virtually every GOP senator on the Justice Committee claimed that the appointment of former President Barack Obama in 2016 was too close to the election of Merrick Garland. “[That] it was nine months, “he said.” Now it’s 12 days since the election.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) broke the Senate, broke the Supreme Court, and broke our democracy with President Donald Trump,” Tanden added.

In 2017, Tanden strongly condemned Republicans for passing a tax law that “will result in huge cuts for millionaires, billionaires and affluent companies while raising millions for working and middle-class Americans.”

“She’s ashamed of them,” she said.

With these earlier criticisms, Republicans are likely to keep Tandent on their agenda as an enemy, which could hamper their chances of being ratified. In addition, Biden’s decision to name such a divisive figure among progressive Democrats could also result in a split within the party.

In April 2019, Senator Bernie Sanders sent a frustrating letter to the American Center for Progress accusing Tandent of “maliciously misrepresenting my employees and supporters and weakening progressive ideas,” after Think Progress made a video that mocked his status as a millionaire.

The incident, coupled with Tanden Hillary Clinton’s loyalty list and long-term status as an opponent of Medicare for All, made him unpopular among the party’s liberal wing, which tried to push Democrats further to the left.

Newsweek he addressed the Transitional Group of the President-elect.