Filling top positions: First setback for Biden

Status: 03.03.2021 7:15 p.m.

US President Biden has to withdraw the nomination of his preferred candidate Neera Tanden as head of household. Tanden was noticed by her sharp tone. With other personalities, however, Biden had success.

In the formation of his government team, US President Joe Biden suffered a defeat for the first time. Biden had to withdraw the nomination of his preferred candidate Neera Tanden as head of the government budget office (OMB).

Many Republicans and at least one Democratic senator had turned down Tanden’s candidacy. They criticized earlier statements by Tandens, who had expressed themselves very disparagingly about leading Republicans on Twitter, among other things.

Neera Tanden in February before the US Senate

Resistance from both parties

The Senate must approve all top government personalities. For the vote, Tanden would have had to rely on all votes from the Democratic camp – the presidential party has 50 seats in the Congress Chamber like the Republicans. If there is a stalemate in votes, Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris has the right to establish a majority with her vote. So far, Biden has been able to push through his candidates for ministerial posts and government agencies in the Senate with a non-partisan majority.

Despite resistance from within his own ranks, Biden initially stuck to Tanden. To make her appointment possible, the White House courted moderate Republican senators like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Their refusal to support Tanden eventually led to the nomination being withdrawn.

Biden wants another role for Tanden

Tanden had then asked the President in a letter to no longer consider her for the post in the White House. She justified this by saying that she did not want her nomination to distract from Biden’s “other priorities”.

Biden said he had “the greatest respect” for Tanden, for her experience and advice. He is looking forward to bringing her to the government’s service in a different role.

The Indian-born Tanden heads the left-wing institute Center for American Progress. She previously served as an advisor to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and worked for then-President Barack Obama’s administration.

Shalanda Young with a good chance

Shalanda Young, actually nominated as deputy head of the authority, has good chances of getting a job as head of household. Young enjoys the support of the Congressional Black Caucus, an association of black members of Congress. The former employee in the House of Representatives would be the second black woman in Biden’s cabinet if she were to become the new OMB director.

Shalanda Young at a Senate hearing yesterday

Two more nominations confirmed

Two further nominations were confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday: Economist Cecilia Rouse as head of the Council of Economic Advisers received the required majority of votes in the Congress Chamber. At the hearing, she promised to take special care of the people who got into financial difficulties as a result of the Corona crisis. Rouse is the first black to lead the board in its 74-year history. Between 2009 and 2011 she was a simple member of the council.

Gina Raimondo was also confirmed as Minister of Commerce. The 49-year-old was previously the governor of Rhode Island. The Yale graduate had previously worked in the financial sector, among other things.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the article stated that Gina Raimondo was black. This has been corrected.

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