President Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Neera Tanden faced her second confirmation hearing today, this time in front of the Senate Budget Committee. The hearing follows her confirmation hearing Feb. 9 in front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
While the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing delved into questions on cybersecurity, IT modernization, and supply chain, the Budget Committee’s hearing didn’t touch on any IT topics. Rather, the Senators focused on regulatory matters, tax rates, school choice, national debt, climate change, influence from special interest groups, and Tanden’s presence on social media.
Tanden, who is currently the president of the Center for American Progress, stood behind President Biden’s positions on all the issues she was questioned on but pledged to work with the committee in a bipartisan manner. Additionally, she emphasized her focus on transparency and responding in a timely manner to any inquiries from Congress as a whole.
Senators on both sides of the aisle – including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and John Kennedy, R-La. – expressed concerns over the Center for American Progress receiving high dollar donations from large tech companies, including Google and Facebook. Tanden attempted to reassure the committee those donations would not impact her if she was confirmed as OMB director. Further, she pointed out the Center for American Progress frequently advocated for policies that ran against the interest of large tech companies.
While the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing featured multiple rounds of questions, the Budget Committee was quite a bit shorter as Senators had to leave for day two of the Senate impeachment trial.
If she clears the committee, which seems likely, Tanden’s nomination will then move to the Senate floor for the final vote.