White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday insisted that President Biden’s aides “are fighting our hearts out” to get Neera Tanden confirmed as White House budget director — despite the long odds due to her past vitriolic attacks on senators.
At least one Republican vote is needed in the evenly divided Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) said he opposes Tanden due to her mean remarks against his colleagues.
“We are fighting our hearts out for Neera Tanden,” Psaki said in an appearance on “The View.”
“I know her personally and she is somebody who not only is incredibly experienced, she’s got decades of experience. But she has — she grew up as someone who is benefiting from a lot of the programs that she would oversee overseeing the budget department. And that’s important that’s having kind of a different perspective and a different point of view at the table.”
Psaki added, “We’re still fighting for Neera Tanden and so stay tuned. We’re still working on it.”
Tanden’s fate appeared increasingly bleak this week as centrist Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah said they oppose Tanden’s nomination to be director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the last remaining GOP swing votes on the nomination, said Wednesday that she was surprised to learn she was among the targets of Tanden’s social media rage.
Tanden in 2017 accused Murkowski of being “high” on her “own supply.”
“High on my own supply? That’s interesting. Should I ask her, ‘My own supply of what?’” the senator told reporters.
Murkowski did not say how she’s leaning on Tanden, but said she’s made clear to the White House that “this world we’ve kind of gotten numb to derogatory tweets [and] I don’t think that that’s a model that we want to set for anybody.”
Tanden recently deleted more than 1,000 tweets that attacked Republicans but also trashed the 2016 presidential bid of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as Russia’s choice against Democratic Party favorite Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reminded Tanden at one of her confirmation hearings, “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.) quipped, “You called Sen. Sanders everything but an ignorant slut.”