The White House has said that it expects Neera Tanden to have a high bar of civility and engagement when the Indian-American policy expert joins the Biden administration, as it backed her nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
Ms Tanden, 50, is facing a tough time for the confirmation of her nomination over her past Twitter outbursts against several lawmakers, including those from her own Democratic Party.
“When Neera Tanden testified just a few weeks ago, she apologised for her past comments and that she would be joining an administration where, as we’ve noted in here, there’s an expectation of a high bar of civility and engagement, whether that’s on social media or in person,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Thursday.
“And we certainly expect she would meet that bar,” Ms Psaki said.
Ms Tanden’s nomination is in jeopardy because of the hundreds of her tweets against several Republican and Democratic Senators, who now have vowed to vote against her during the Senate confirmation.
Ms Tanden reportedly deleted more than 1,000 tweets before her confirmation process started. She had apologised to senators during her confirmation hearings earlier this month.
“The President (Joe Biden) nominated Neera Tanden because she is qualified, because she is experienced, because she has a record of working with people who agree with her and disagree with her, and she has decades of experience,” Ms Psaki said.
“…she has lived experience of her own, having benefited from a number of the programmes that she would oversee, as a daughter of a single parent and somebody who benefited from food stamps at certain points in time,” Ms Psaki said.
“She would bring a new perspective to the role. That’s why he nominated her to the job and why we”re continuing to fight for her confirmation,” said the White House Press Secretary.
If confirmed by the 100-member Senate, Ms Tanden would become the first person of colour to head the federal agency that prepares the annual budget of the US government.
Meanwhile, The Hill newspaper reported that Ms Tanden might drop out of the race as early as Friday.
“The struggle to gain support for the longtime Democratic aide whose combative Twitter posts have drawn criticism reflects miscalculations by the White House and its chief of staff, Ron Klain,” The New York Times reported.