Neera Tanden named White House staff secretary

Neera Tanden named White House staff secretary
Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Neera Tanden was named White House staff secretary on a morning staff call on Friday, a person familiar with the matter and a senior White House official said, after her nomination to be President Joe Biden’s budget chief was pulled earlier this year when key senators balked at some of her past tweets.

Since her nomination was pulled, Tanden has worked in the White House on communications efforts surrounding Biden’s economic agenda.

The White House staff secretary is a behind-the-scenes but critical role in the West Wing, responsible for managing paper flow to the President from other areas of the administration and federal government. The person filling the job has been viewed as one of the most powerful in the building.

The Washington Post first reported the move.

Biden originally nominated Tanden to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. But Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined Republicans in blocking her confirmation, citing her past acerbic criticism of political adversaries in both parties.

Tanden withdrew from consideration in March. Shalanda Young, confirmed by the Senate as deputy budget director, is serving as acting director pending confirmation of a permanent choice.

Following Tanden’s failed nomination, the White House had indicated that she would serve in another role within the administration. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in April that Biden remained “interested in and committed to finding her a position in the administration and taking advantage of all her talents.”

Tanden was a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton who became president of the liberal Center for American Progress after leaving the Obama administration. Her new role does not require Senate confirmation.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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