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Neera Tanden is President Joe Biden’s pick for heading up the Office of Management and Budget, and she is currently going through confirmation hearings in the Senate.
But Tanden was confronted Tuesday over tweets — many of which she deleted following the presidential election — where she made derogatory statements about some of the very lawmakers who will be voting on whether she is fit to serve in the Cabinet position she seeks.
What are the details?
Republican Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), who also served as OMB director under George W. Bush, told Tanden during his questioning at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, “I believe that the tone, the content and the aggressive partisanship of some of your public statements have added to the troubling trend of more incivility and division in our public life, and in your case I’m concerned that your personal attacks about specific senators will make it more difficult for you to work with them.”
Portman went on to call out specific statements Tanden has made, reminding the nominee:
“You wrote that [Sen.] Susan Collins (R-Maine) is ‘the worst,’ that [Sen.] Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is a ‘fraud,’ that ‘vampires have more heart’ than [Sen.] Ted Cruz (R-Texas). You called [Senate Minority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell (R-Ky.) ‘Moscow Mitch,’ and ‘Voldemort,’ and on and on.”
Tanden offered up an apology, saying, “For those concerned about my rhetoric and my language, you know, I’m sorry and I’m sorry for any hurt that they’ve caused.”
She also promised she is committed to working “in a bipartisan and nonpartisan manner,” saying, “It’s upon me to prove that to this committee and to members.”
NBC News reported that “Tanden also admitted to spending ‘many months’ removing past Twitter posts, saying, ‘I deleted tweets because I regretted them.’ But she refused to say she did so to help her nomination.”
Fox News noted that it is not just GOP lawmakers Tanden has insulted in the recent past, pointing to a spat she had with far-left Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the Democratic presidential primary in which he was a candidate.
The outlet reported:
Sanders wrote a fiery letter to the Center for American Progress, which Tanden led, accusing her of “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas.” The Vermont senator, a self-described democratic socialist, also criticized a video by ThinkProgress, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which accused him of changing his rhetoric on wealthy Americans after he became a millionaire in 2016.
Sanders now chairs the Senate Budget Committee, which will host Tanden for a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.