Politics & Policy

Tulsi Gabbard Slams Biden over Neera Tanden OMB Appointment

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Ga., November 20, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Representative Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday criticized President-elect Joe Biden for his decision to tap Neera Tanden for a Cabinet-level position in his administration, saying Tanden’s foreign policy makes her a bad choice to handle the country’s budget.

Neera Tanden thinks the way to reduce our deficit is to steal oil from countries like Libya to pay us back for bombing them, toppling their government, and turning them into a failed state,” Gabbard wrote in a tweet Thursday.

Is this really the person you want in charge of managing our budget?” the Hawaii Democrat asked, tagging Biden’s Twitter account.

Biden announced Monday that he has chosen Tanden, a former Clinton and Obama adviser who now heads the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden and Gabbard have tussled over foreign policy in the past, including in 2016 over U.S. policy in Syria.

In March, however, Tanden commended Gabbard for endorsing Biden after failing to secure the Democratic presidential nomination herself, saying that while she has been “tough” on some of Gabbard’s past positions she is “grateful for her leadership here.”

Even before Biden tapped Tanden, Republican senators were already calling her nomination doomed from the start for a potpourri of reasons, some senators indicating that will not vote for her confirmation next year. Tanden would need 51 votes in the Senate to be confirmed as OMB director. So far, Democrats have only 48 Senate seats to Republicans’ 50, and both parties hope to win Georgia’s two Senate seats, which will be decided by runoff elections in January.

Senator John Cornyn said Monday that Tanden is perhaps the Biden’s “worst nominee so far” due to her “combative and insulting comments” about GOP senators.

While president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, Tanden lambasted GOP senators for voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018.

Similarly, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas on Sunday called Tanden a “partisan hack.” Senator Rick Scott of Florida tweeted that she is “a big-government, big-spending radical liberal who’s a terrible choice for OMB Director.”

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