Biden defends selecting Tanden as budget chief as Republicans vow to block nomination

Amid a wave of fierce Republican opposition, President-elect Joe Biden defended picking Neera Tandem as his budget director by contending her “practical experience” will help the pandemic-torn economy bounce back.

The incoming president praised the longtime Clinton adviser’s “brilliant policy mind” and what he called her “practical experience across government” as he formally introduced his economic team.

“She understands the struggles that millions of Americans are facing” due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said, noting that, if confirmed, she would oversee building his first budget, which he contended would “control the virus” and revive the economy.

“They are a reflection of our values,” Ms Tanden said of federal spending plans. “They touch our lives in profound ways. And, sometimes, they make all the difference.”

The daughter of an Indian-born mother, Ms Tanden said “I’m here today because of my mother’s grit” – but also because of “social programs.”

That comment will only further GOP criticism of the current Center for American Progress president, whom they say is out of the “mainstream” of Americans’ thinking about the size of the federal government and its spending – and the proper role it should play in the economy and on social matters. 

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