Joe Biden’s chief of staff just spilled the beans: Democrats plan to give Neera Tanden a spot in the administration even if she is not confirmed to the president’s Cabinet by the Senate, Breitbart reports.
Tanden is the president and CEO of the George Soros-backed Center for American Progress (CAP), and has been nominated by Biden to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But a number of recent controversies have put her confirmation in jeopardy.
“We will find some other place for her”
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain recently made an appearance on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, where he commented on the hurdles Tanden has been facing in her confirmation process.
“We can’t make someone acting director of an agency who has not been Senate confirmed. That’s the law,” Klain said, according to Breitbart.
“We can’t make them acting director of an agency unless they are a career official who’s been there 90 days or more. So, if Neera Tanden is not confirmed, she will not become the budget director,” he added.
Still, Klain went on to declare that, one way or another, Tanden is going to be part of the Biden administration.
“We will find some other place for her to serve in the administration that doesn’t require Senate confirmation,” Klain said, as Breitbart reported. “But, let me be clear, we’re going to get Neera Tanden confirmed.”
Tanden’s mounting troubles
Part of what’s putting Tanden’s confirmation in question is years’ worth of controversial tweets targeting Republicans, including many of the senators who are set to vote on her confirmation.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) highlighted some of these tweets during a hearing in the upper chamber this week, according to Breitbart, saying:
Just to mention a few of the thousands of negative public statements, 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, and on and on.
Prior to the hearing, Tanden had deleted many of these tweets, and during it, she tried to apologize for them. But this strategy doesn’t appear to be working.
While some, like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), are concerned about Tanden’s connection to Soros through CAP, most are uneasy about the tweets, which already appear to have cost Tanden a number of votes, including from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), reports note.
Other reports indicate, however, that the Biden administration still stands behind Tanden, and that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working to get the votes needed to push her through. Only time will tell if they succeed — but even if they don’t, it seems Tanden will still be too close to the White House for comfort.