WASHINGTON — Neera Tanden, whose attack-tweets bashing senators killed her nomination to be White House budget director, has gotten a powerful new job controlling the paperwork that reaches President Biden’s desk.
Tanden, 51, will serve as White House staff secretary, which will allow her to decide what official documents and outside communications reach the president.
“The Staff Secretary role is the central nervous system of the White House and moves the decision-making process and manages a wide variety of issues for the President,” a White House official said in a statement.
“Neera has over two decades of experience in policy and management which are critical elements of the role. Her experience across domestic, economic and national security policy will be a key asset in this new role.”
Tanden will replace former Facebook attorney Jessica Hertz, who recently decided to leave the job after less than a year.
Tanden’s new role will be broader than just paperwork, the official said.
“She’s working on passage of Build Back Better, particularly pushing outside support and have [sic] done that since August. She is overseeing a government reform initiative alongside OMB which stems in part from her work overseeing the United States Digital Service on behalf of the Chief of Staff’s Office. And she worked on our response to the Supreme Court review of the ACA,” the official said.
Tanden’s posts as a social media troll while president of the Democratic Party-aligned Center for American Progress earned bipartisan condemnation on Capitol Hill, where senators said the insults clashed with Biden’s promotion of “civility.”
Tanden in March withdrew her nomination to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget after it became clear the Senate would not confirm her.
At least one Republican vote was needed and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he opposed Tanden due to her mean remarks against his colleagues.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of the last remaining GOP swing votes, said she was surprised to learn she was among Tanden’s targets. Tanden in 2017 accused Murkowski of being “high” on her “own supply.”
Tanden had also lobbed Twitter bombs from the right against socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), describing him as Russia’s choice against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Sanders expressed concern about Tanden’s solicitation of corporate donations to the Center for American Progress.
Tanden’s confirmation hearings featured a colorful accounting of her tweets.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reminded Tanden, “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.’”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) memorably quipped, “You called Sen. Sanders everything but an ignorant slut!”