March 9, 2021

Tanden’s Confirmation on Shaky Ground as More Senators Voice Opposition

Ms. Tanden did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether she planned to remain in the running for the job. She had apologized to lawmakers during her confirmation hearings, saying she regretted her tone and vowing to work with members of both parties.

Mr. Biden nominated her before Democrats wrested back control of the Senate in January, surprising lawmakers and aides given her history of inflammatory statements. Ms. Tanden’s prospects have long appeared tenuous in light of her criticism of Republicans and progressive Democrats after serving as an adviser to Hillary Clinton during her bid for the presidency in 2016.

At her confirmation hearings this month before two Senate committees, Ms. Tanden apologized multiple times for personal attacks that she had leveled on Twitter over the years. She said she had deleted more than 1,000 tweets shortly after the election in November because she regretted her tone.

Although she promised to bring a radically different approach to her communication style if she assumed the job of budget director, Ms. Tanden was confronted by Republicans with her comments about “Moscow Mitch” — a reference to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader — and her suggestion that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” the Republican senator from Texas.

Ms. Tanden does have the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but conservative political action groups and liberal activists have mobilized against her nomination, suggesting that she will be hard pressed to find support from other Republicans.

“Neera Tanden is an architect of Obamacare, cheerleader for the Green New Deal and advocate for socialism in America,” David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, said this month. “Any senator that cares about working with O.M.B. to grow the economy — not destroy it — should vehemently oppose this nomination.”

Republicans were not the only ones who confronted Ms. Tanden. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the chairman of the budget committee, asked her to “reflect” on some of the things she had said about him and his progressive allies over the years.

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