© Reuters. Senate committee holds hearing on Biden budget candidate Neera Tanden
By Patricia Zengerle and Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s candidate to head the U.S. Bureau of Administration and Budget, was impaled from both right and left at a second confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Bernie Sanders, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, interviewed Tanden extensively about donating millions to the Center for American Progress, where she is the executive director.
“The CAP has received money from some of the most powerful special interests in our country,” said the Liberal senator, an independent senator who negotiates with Democrats.
Tanden said these contributions “did not affect my decision-making”.
The Office of Management and Budget acts as the gatekeeper for the $ 4 trillion federal budget.
The Committee on Budgets is the second of two hearings on Tanden. She appeared before the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Tanden addressed a myriad of issues, including pledging to support a minimum wage hike and insisting that US economic growth will not return to pre-pandemic levels for years without additional fiscal stimulus.
Republicans again focused on Tanden’s harsh comments on social media such as referring to Republican leader Mitch McConnell as “Moscow Mitch”.
“This is not the uniform election I’ve been looking for,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (NYSE :), the committee’s senior Republican.
Democrats pushed back. The hearing took place on the second day of the impeachment trial of former Republican President Donald Trump that instigated the January 6th fatal attack on the Capitol, in part via inflammatory comments on Twitter.
“We survived the ultimate mean tweets for four years,” remarked Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Sanders noted that Tanden, who supported his rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential race, also clashed with the left. “There have been vicious attacks against progressives, people I have worked with personally,” he said.
Tanden said she recognized the damage her words had done: “I apologize to people on the left or right who have been hurt by what I have said,” she said.
Sanders didn’t say if he would support Tanden.
It can be upheld without a Republican because Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie in the 100-member Senate, but only with the unanimous support of the Democratic caucus.
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