Neera Tanden’s feud with Bernie Sanders hangs over OMB Senate confirmation

President Biden is slowly assembling his Cabinet, but what is probably to be his most fiery Senate affirmation showdown (featuring his old buddy and rival Bernie Sanders) hasn’t even been scheduled nonetheless.

Biden’s announcement that he had tapped Neera Tanden, 50, as the director-designate of the Business office of Management and Finances, tasked with drafting his funds and overseeing his administration’s finances plans and policy implementation, was achieved with derision from his still left and ideal.

But even prior to Tanden’s candidacy is place to a vote on the flooring of the Senate, she is experiencing some friendly fireplace: Democratic opposition.

Sanders’s Senate Funds Committee has jurisdiction above Tanden’s situation, and the pair have openly clashed. Tanden, president and CEO of the Heart for American Progress, a liberal believe tank, as perfectly as an alumna of former President Invoice Clinton’s administration, was a intense backer of Hillary Clinton’s two White Household strategies, making use of CAP to improve her bid.

The freshly mounted chairman has however to timetable Tanden’s confirmation hearing. While his panel is tied up with Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue bundle and endeavours to legislate a federal minimal wage hike, his determination to hold off her visual appearance has dredged up the pair’s previous community clashes when Sanders challenged Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

“I really don’t know, honestly. We are working on it,” he advised reporters very last 7 days when questioned about the timeline. “It is really likely on. … Certainly, you will find a course of action we are heading to go as a result of.”

In 2016, Sanders blasted Tanden in a letter for “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive tips.”

“I fret that the company cash CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is enjoying in the progressive motion,” Sanders wrote.

And the animosity has not abated. Sanders’s 2020 campaign spokeswoman tweeted previous November that Tanden embodied “every little thing poisonous about the company Democratic Social gathering.”

CAP has been scrutinized in excess of its donors’ contributions, including tens of millions of pounds from the United Arab Emirates in the earlier decade. Her leadership of the group has also been criticized, significantly her dealing with of an alleged sexual harassment target.

Tanden has gained aid from liberals these types of as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Rep. Barbara Lee, but a congressional quirk could enable push Sanders on Tanden’s nomination. The Homeland Stability and Govt Affairs Committee shares jurisdiction over her position. If its chairman, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, were to report out her nomination, Sanders’s committee panel would have just 30 days to act ahead of it is really canceled.

In the course of her rollout celebration, Biden pressured her immigrant upbringing as the little one of a solitary mother who relied on food stamps, although also contacting her “a excellent policy intellect with significant, realistic practical experience throughout federal government.”

Republicans have latched on to Tanden’s pugnacious Twitter existence. Tanden, from her CAP perch, lashed out at previous President Donald Trump and his congressional allies on social media and in the course of Tv set appearances. And Republicans had been fast to contend Tanden’s social media tenor wasn’t in tune with Biden’s call for unity.

“I just feel she’s likely to be radioactive,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn stated last month.

She even deleted additional than 1,000 of her about 88,000 tweets, seemingly nervous that the posts might sink or complicate her nomination. In her missives, she has attacked the likes of Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican whose assistance she may well need to have in a Senate that is evenly divided in between the two get-togethers. She’s also long gone immediately after most of the Republican senators who have been up for reelection in 2020. (Vice President Kamala Harris, however, can forged a tiebreaking vote, if needed.)

Her on the web screeds against her political rivals arrived although Democrats were criticizing Trump for accomplishing the identical to foes and buddies alike.

On the net, she has also elevated the conspiracy concept that Russia hacked voter devices in 2016 and altered the success to favor Trump. She voiced her annoyance, far too, with university closures to stop the distribute of the coronavirus, drawing incorrect parallels with France’s technique.

Tanden also has damaged with previous 1st woman Michelle Obama, who as soon as mentioned that when Trump and Republicans “go lower,” Democrats should really “go significant.” The OMB nominee is not a supporter of the higher street as a political tactic.

“One essential lesson is that when they go reduced, likely substantial doesn’t f—ing work,” Tanden wrote, in accordance to the Wayback Machine, an world-wide-web archive.

A spokesman for South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Finances Committee’s ranking member, remained mum on the Republican method to Tanden’s hearing.

But a Republican operative advised the Washington Examiner that the GOP has a lot more substantive problems with Tanden’s nomination, describing the Twitter grievances as a Democratic distraction. The supply advised there would be issues on Tanden’s stance on a federal $15 least wage immediately after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen faced a similar line of inquiry. Tanden has been towards a minimum wage raise in the past, indicating in 2015 that it would be “counterproductive.” She’s also advocated for the “Eco-friendly New Deal,” but she has pointed out the unpopularity of “Medicare for all.”