Biden appoints Nira Tandon as White House staff secretary

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Biden appoints Nira Tandon as White House staff secretary

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Friday named longtime Democratic insider Nira Tandon as White House staff secretary in Washington, a little-known after failing to install her as director of the office earlier this year. But the influential West Wing transferred to the post. of Management and Budget.

For the past several months, Ms Tandon has been a senior adviser to the President, working quietly behind the scenes to build support among interest groups for her social spending agenda and oversee the government reform agenda with officials in the Budget Office .

Ms Tandon previously served as president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and was a close adviser to former Senator Hillary Clinton. In her new job, Ms Tandon will be at the center of the flow of information between Biden and his senior White House advisers.

A White House official, who asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak publicly about internal staff moves, described Tandon’s new role as “the central nervous system of the White House”. which helped in the decision making of the President.

But the official said Ms Tandon will retain the title of senior adviser and will continue to advise the President and other senior White House officials on a range of subjects.

Mr Biden’s decision marks a remarkable comeback for Ms Tandon, who faced fierce resistance from members of the Senate on both sides of the aisle for her relentlessly caustic comments on social media.

During the four years of President Donald Trump’s administration, Ms Tandon presented herself as a fierce and outspoken moderate critic of the administration and lawmakers – on both sides – whom she felt were sufficiently supportive of those causes. was not what she believed in.

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On Twitter, she often expresses her views with hate speech. Once he was nominated to head the Office of the Budget, it proved challenging to overcome those comments.

In 2017, when Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a moderate Republican, announced she supported Mr. Trump’s effort to lower the corporate tax rate, Ms. Tandon dropped out.

“No offense but looks like you’re high on your supplies,” she wrote on Twitter. “You know, we know, and everyone knows it’s all garbage. Stop now.”

In February, a spokesman for Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said it would be “hard to return to the honor and dignity of a nominee issuing a thousand mean tweets.”

The job of a staff secretary is rarely high profile. But inside the White House it is known as a powerful position because the occupant has the information.

The top White House adviser who wants the president to sign off on policy proposals will now have to send the paperwork through Ms Tandon. She will control the flow of that paperwork, decide what documents get on the president’s desk and when they are distributed.

Some high-profile names have served as staff secretaries in Washington. John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress and former chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, was also Clinton’s staff secretary. Brett M. Kavanaugh, now an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, was the staff secretary to former President George W. Bush.

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