WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s election to lead the Office of Administration and Budget on Tuesday apologized for spending years attacking major Republicans on social media while trying to persuade senators to leave party politics behind if confirmed.
Neera Tanden also admitted that she had spent “many months” removing previous Twitter posts and said, “I deleted the tweets because I regretted them.” But he refused to say he did this to help his nomination.
“I know there have been concerns in social media about some of my previous languages, and I regret that language and take responsibility for it,” Tanden, a former advisor to Hillary Clinton and president of the Center-Center for American Progress. he told the Senate committee.
He later added, “I’m so sorry and I’m sorry for my language.”
Tanden would be the first colored woman to lead OMB. His nomination requires the approval of the Senate, which has progressed fairly quickly over many of Biden’s decisions, which have turned into huge positions. Despite being split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, they are struggling this week with the trial of former President Donald Trump.
Democrats own the majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie vote. No one in the party has yet opposed Tanden, meaning he is likely to be eventually approved. But Republicans have indicated that this process could launch a political battle that is not visible to other Biden candidates, given the history of criticism of GOP legislators with whom he now had to work.
Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman noted that despite returning and trying to “cover up what he said” by deleting tweets, he persevered with plenty of “hard” criticism and “personal attacks on personal senators”. He said Tanden called the Republican Senate of Arkansas Tom Cotton a “scam” and tweeted that “vampires have more hearts” than Ted Cruz of Texas.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford says Tanden has tweeted more than Trump in the past four years.
“This committee asked candidates quite often, ‘Are you committed to working in the hallway?’ “Lankford said.” “And that’s what we need to ask you a little duller than others, because it was pretty clear that that wasn’t your position in the past.
Tanden said he admits, “that this role is a bipartisan role, and I know I need to earn the senators’ trust.”
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Biden remains confident that Tanden will receive confirmation, but no one in the administration has apologized to facilitate the process.
“We certainly didn’t ask him to make specific comments in his confession,” Psaki said.
After the coronavirus epidemic wreaked havoc on the economy, Tanden promised to use his position as budget leader to “strongly enforce my firm belief that our government should serve Americans in every corner of the country, regardless of party.”
Nonetheless, the Senate debate on nominating Tanden is likely to focus on his past tweets rather than his budget priorities. Cotton said he was “filled with hatred”. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn had previously suggested he face a “certainly problematic path” to the nomination.
The Senate of Josh Hawley, Missouri, offered another possible line of Republican criticism on Tuesday, noting that the American Center for Progress has collected large donations from Wall Street companies and groups associated with large technology companies, while Tanden directed it.
“How can you ensure that we work to ensure that these Silicon Valley and Wall Street companies do not have a withdrawal effect,” Hawley asked. “In shaping government policy and controlling the economy?”
Tanden responded that he called for higher taxes on tech companies, greater regulation of Wall Street and major corporate interests because “we need to move to rebalance our economy.”