Fight over Neera Tanden's nomination not over yet, White House says

Democrats weaponize identity politics in bid to boost Neera Tanden

California Republican Party Chair Jessica Miller Patterson and Rep. Byron Donalds R-Fla., weigh in on ‘Fox News @ Night’

Press secretary Jen Psaki signaled Thursday the Biden White House isn’t giving up yet on the fight over Neera Tanden to become the next budget director.

“We’re fighting our hearts out for Neera Tanden,” Psaki told Sunny Hostin on “The View,” the daily ABC talk show.

Tanden’s hopes of becoming the next head of the powerful Office of Management and Budget are in jeopardy after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., a key swing vote, announced his opposition last week due to her caustic Twitter history.

Psaki touted Tanden’s “experience” but also said she would bring a different perspective to the position given she benefited from programs she would oversee.

Psaki alluded to Tanden’s race — Tanden is Indian American — saying President Biden is “pretty proud” of the “historic nominees” for various positions in his administration. The media has also touted the ethnic diversity of Biden’s proposed Cabinet-level staff.

“We’re still fighting for Neera Tanden, so stay tuned, we’re still working on it,” Psaki said.

Without Manchin in a 50-50 Senate, Tanden will need at least one Republican to support her. Several key Republicans have also said they will vote her down, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

The only likely Republican who could back Tanden who hasn’t announced her position is Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. She has also been mocked publicly by Tanden, a longtime Democratic operative and president of the left-wing Center for American Progress.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and Budget Committees postponed planned business meetings Wednesday where they were supposed to vote on Tanden, throwing her confirmation further into doubt by the cancellation of the two committee votes. 

Some liberal media pundits have blamed sexism and racism for the opposition to Tanden, claiming there is a double standard for holding her to account for her past tweets.

The White House has leaned into Tanden’s race as among the reasons she should be confirmed. On Monday, Psaki tweeted a list of Tanden’s credentials and included her potentially being the first Asian-American woman to lead the office.

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The political capital spent by Biden on the Tanden fight has frustrated some on his left flank as well. Tanden, a Hillary Clinton loyalist, attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his supporters during his presidential runs.

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

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