- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 25, 2021

The White House on Thursday pushed back against the idea that it underestimated the blowback Neera Tanden would face from members of Congress in her confirmation battle over “mean tweets” from her past.

Ms. Tanden’s nomination as director of the Office of Management and Budget is on the rocks, with members of both parties raising questions over the criticism she leveled at lawmakers on her social media as the president of the Center for American Progress.

At the daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the administration will continue to fight for Tanden’s confirmation.

“First I will note when Neera Tanden testified just a few weeks ago she apologized for her part comments and that she would be joining an administration, whereas we have noted in here, there is an expectation of a high bar of civility and engagement, whether that is on social media or in person, and we certainly expect he would meet that bar,” Ms. Psaki said.

Ms. Tanden likened Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell to the “Voldemort” character in Harry Potter, said “a vampire has more heart than Ted Cruz” and described Sen. Susan Collins as the “worst.”

Ms. Tanden’s backers have suggested GOP lawmakers are being thin-skinned and hypocritical after they watched former President Trump spend the last four years lashing out at his rivals over Twitter.

“The president nominated Neera Tandem because she is qualified, because she is experienced, because she has a record of working people who agree with her and disagree with her,” Ms. Psaki said. “Plus she has a lived experience of her own having benefited from a number of programs that she would oversee as the daughter of a single parent and somebody who benefited from food stamps at certain points in time. She would bring a new perspective.”

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