Republican politician Nikki Haley Tuesday said Neera Tanden’s nomination as the Director of Office of Management and Budget is “deeply concerning”, as she has shown “bad judgment” in the past.
“Tanden has shown bad judgment in the past. She said that @realDonaldTrump is ‘part of conspiracy against US’ & has a track record of disparaging Rep Senators. There’s a saying that ‘personnel is policy,’ which is why Biden’s nomination of Tanden is deeply concerning,” Haley said in a tweet.
Haley, the two-term South Carolina Governor, has the distinction of being the first ever Indian-American to be part of a US Cabinet when she served as the US Ambassador to the UN in the first two years of the Trump Administration.
Tanden, if confirmed by the Senate, would be the second ever Indian-American in a presidential cabinet. She would also be the first woman of colour and first Indian American to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB serves the President of the United States in overseeing the implementation of his vision across the Executive Branch.
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Specifically, OMB’s mission is to assist the President in meeting his policy, budget, management and regulatory objectives and to fulfill the agency’s statutory responsibilities.
“Biden’s pick for budget chief is Neera Tanden. Tanden is one of the architects of ObamaCare, has been described as a Clinton loyalist for her years of service to Hillary Clinton & spent years leading a liberal think tank where she oversaw proposals like “Medicare Extra for All.”,” Haley said in another tweet.
Biden on Tuesday defended his nomination of Tanden. “Neera is battle-tested and ready to get the job done as our next Director of Office of Management and Budget. She has been at the forefront in creating policies designed to support America’s working families,” he told his supporters in an email.
“She’ll fight for your family as if it were her own, because her experience as a child relying on food stamps and Section 8 housing instilled in her a belief that our economy must serve the dignity and humanity of all people. If confirmed, she’ll be the first woman of color and the first South Asian American to lead the OMB, and I’m excited to watch her make history,” Biden said.
However, Republican Senators have been critical of Tanden. According to The Wall Street Journal, Republicans say her past comments will threaten her confirmation and undercut the new president’s pledge to calm political waters.
Influential Senator John Cornyn, who is also co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, described Tanden as the worst nominee of Biden so far. “I think in light of her combative and insulting comments about many members of the Senate, mainly on our side of the aisle, that it creates certainly a problematic path to confirmation.” In an interaction with reporters, Cornyn said that Tanden “deleted a lot of her previous tweets in the last couple of weeks which seems pretty juvenile, as if people won’t have access to it.” “I’m a little surprised that she would do that and not even consult with any Republicans. Some of this can be avoided with a little bit of a heads up and consultation,” Cornyn said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ridiculed the Republican’s allegations.
“Senate Republicans reacted to the historic nomination of Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget by calling her “radioactive,” a “nut-job,” and expressing alarm over some critical tweets in the past,” Schumer said on Senate floor on Tuesday.
“After spending four years pretending that they didn’t see the latest insane tweet from President Trump, Senate Republicans seem to have found a newfound interest in the twitter feeds of President-elect Biden’s cabinet selections,” he said.
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“A few critical tweets about substantive, policy positions have caused Senate Republicans to label Ms. Tanden’s nomination “radioactive.” Spare us the hyperbole. Ms. Tanden, we all know, is an eminently qualified nominee who would be the first woman of color to ever run the Office of Management and Budget,” Schumer said. South Asians for Biden’s National Director Neha Dewan said the selection of Tanden represents Biden’s commitment to pick qualified appointees who reflect the diversity of America.
“South Asians for Biden is thrilled with the selection of Neera Tanden to serve as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” said Dewan. “President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris expressed the importance of having every American’s voice heard and represented in the administration, and Tanden’s selection to serve in such a high profile role confirms this commitment,” added Dewan.