President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden received criticism from the Democratic side of the aisle in her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, a day after being questioned by Republicans for her vitriolic social media commentary about members from the GOP.
Senate budget committee chairman and self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., rebuked Tanden for her time and administration at the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank/advocacy group were she has served in a variety of roles since 2003 including president and CEO.
"I must tell you that I am concerned about the level of corporate donations that the Center for American Progress has received under your leadership," Sanders told Tanden, claiming the organization has received at least $38 million in donations from companies since 2014.
“So, before I vote on your nomination, it is important for me and members of this committee to know that those donations that you have secured at CAP will not influence your decision making at the OMB.”
Tanden promised they would have "zero impact" on her decision-making as director of the Office of Management and Budget, a key White House policy role.
The India-born Tanden has been characterized by many as one of Biden’s most controversial nominees, drawing fire from both liberals and conservatives. After having been reminded of her social media posts by Republicans on Tuesday in a different committee hearing, she again faced criticism on Wednesday for her published remarks.
Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy mocked her, claiming she – at one point – called Sanders “everything but an ignorant slut,” borrowing from a 1970s “Saturday Night Live” skit.
Sanders, personally, took issue with the remarks.
"Your attacks were not just made against Republicans,” he said. “There were vicious attacks made against progressives, people who I have worked with, me personally."
Tanden apologized to Sanders in her opening remarks, having also to Republicans a day earlier.
"My language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that,” Tanden said. “And I really regret it and I recognize that it's really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others. I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments and my approach will be radically different."
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