Neera Tanden is set to be the new White House staff secretary following a difficult nomination to be the leader of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and, ultimately, a failure to secure support for the OMB position.
A White House official confirmed the announcement to Fox News on Friday, with the outlet noting that Tanden has “been serving as a White House senior adviser, prior to her appointment as staff secretary.”
The Washington Post reported, “The staff secretary, who reports to the chief of staff, traditionally plays the role of both traffic cop and honest broker in the White House, with control over the documents that make it to the president, whether they be briefing books or decision memos laying out the arguments on major decisions.”
After her nomination failed, President Joe Biden reportedly said he would put her in a position in his administration.
“I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience, and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work,” Biden said in March.
The tension surrounding Tanden’s nomination mostly centered on her past tweets.
As The Daily Wire reported in March, “President Joe Biden accepted a withdrawal letter from OMB Director nominee Neera Tanden late on Tuesday after Tanden faced bipartisan opposition due to snide remarks that she made online toward Senators.”
“I am writing to you to withdraw my nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Tanden said. “It has been an honor of a lifetime to be considered for this role and for the faith placed in me. I appreciate how hard you and your team at the White House has worked to win my confirmation.”
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” Tanden continued. “I am incredibly grateful for your leadership on behalf of the American people and for your agenda that will make such a transformative difference in people’s lives.”
“Tanden was facing bipartisan opposition from senators due to past intemperate comments she made on her Twitter feed,” The Washington Post reported. “Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) announced last month that he would oppose her, meaning Tanden would need the support of at least one Republican to be confirmed in the evenly divided Senate.”
The Daily Wire previously reported on Tanden’s response to criticism during her committee hearings.
“I recognize that my language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that,” said Tanden. “I really regret it, and I recognize it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others, and I look forward to taking that burden, and I apologize to people on either the Left or Right who are hurt by what I’ve said.”
“Social media does lead to too many personal comments, and my approach will be radically different,” she added.
Members of President Joe Biden’s team also reportedly sought the help of Asian-American groups in a last-ditch effort to save Tanden, as the likelihood of her being confirmed by the Senate continued to shrink.
Politico reported that the groups were calling Senate offices, sending letters to them, and utilizing social media in order to advocate on behalf of Tanden. The groups were labeling opposition to Tanden as “structural racism” and “institutional racism.”