The United States Chamber of Commerce is backing President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden, who has deep financial ties to billionaire George Soros, Wall Street firms, and Silicon Valley’s biggest tech corporations.
In a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Chamber’s senior vice president of public affairs, Jack Howard, wrote that the business group supports Tanden’s nomination and called her a “well-qualified” candidate for the job with “an established track record of engagement with the business community.”
“Ms. Tanden has had a distinguished career,” the Chamber’s letter to Senators states:
She has served as President and CEO of the Center for American Progress think tank for the past ten years. She also served in various roles in the Clinton and Obama Administrations and in the United States Senate. Her broad perspective and experience will be essential given the vast portfolio of the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Tanden has proven a frequent partner and collaborator, particularly on international trade issues. Her willingness to consider different perspectives will be important as she shapes the budget and policy proposals for the Biden Administration. While we may not always agree with Ms. Tanden, we anticipate that she will have an open door and an open mind as Director. [Emphasis added]
The Chamber and Tanden’s views supporting deficit reduction and free trade have largely aligned.
In June 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential primary campaign sought to include official opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal in the Democrat Party platform, liberals blamed Tanden for ensuring the language was not included.
Common Dreams reported at the time:
Members of the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee shot down an attempt to include specific opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the platform, despite the fact that both Democratic presidential candidates have taken positions against the TPP. [Emphasis added]
The attempt failed because members appointed by Hillary Clinton and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed it was improper to oppose the TPP when President Barack Obama fervently believes in the agreement. However, by putting party unity before taking a firm stand against the trade agreement, the door was left open for Clinton to go back to supporting the TPP, which was the case when she was secretary of state. [Emphasis added]
On top of that, Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden, appointed by Clinton, patronizingly addressed all the Sanders appointees upset with the craven members of the committee. [Emphasis added]
Likewise, Tanden has criticized the use of U.S. tariffs on foreign imports.
Tanden, as Breitbart News reported, has financial ties to the nation’s biggest corporate players. During testimony before the Senate this week, Tanden defended those ties, saying she would “always uphold the highest ethical standards” as OMB director.
As president of the Center for American Progress, Tanden solicited donations ranging from $5,000 to more than $1 million from the likes of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, Apple, the Microsoft Corporation, hedge fund billionaires, Amazon, Bank of America, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, Google, and Wells Fargo, among others.
Tanden, during the Senate hearing, was forced to apologize for a series of online posts where she attacked elected Republican lawmakers from whom she would need to support her confirmation.
“I’m concerned that your personal attacks about specific senators will make it more difficult for you to work with them,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said at the hearing. “Just to mention a few of the thousands of negative public statements, you wrote that [Sen.] Susan Collins [R-ME] is the worst, that [Sen.] Tom Cotton [R-AR] is a fraud, that vampires have more heart than [Sen.] Ted Cruz [R-TX]. You called [then-Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell: Moscow Mitch and Voldemort, and on and on.”
Sanders joined some Senate Republicans, telling Tanden that her “attacks were not just made against Republicans. There were vicious attacks made against progressives. People I have worked with.”
Sanders’ former presidential primary campaign press secretary also blasted Tanden, calling her “everything toxic about the corporate Democrat Party” in an online post:
Everything toxic about the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden. https://t.co/kWHcUK2VZ5
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) November 30, 2020
Tanden, as chronicled by independent journalist Glenn Greenwald, suggested after the 2016 presidential election a conspiracy that Russian hackers had flipped votes in favor of former President Donald Trump against Clinton.
But what really distinguished Tanden when it came to unhinged and toxic behavior was her repeated (and obviously baseless) claims that Hillary only lost because Russian hackers invaded the U.S. voting system and clandestinely changed Hillary’s votes to Trump’s, costing the real winner — Hillary — her rightful place on the throne, behind the Resolute Desk.
Four days after the 2016 election, Tanden began strongly implying, if not outright stating, that Russian hackers changed the vote totals, and that this is why “Trump was as surprised as everyone else” by his victory. When I highlighted her conspiratorial claims, she did not deny their obvious meaning, but rationalized them by insisting that her conspiracies were not as bad as Trump’s refusal, in advance of the election, to acknowledge the legitimacy of an election that had not yet taken place:
If Joe Biden succeeds in empowering someone like Neera Tanden without extreme opposition from supposedly adversarial journalists, not only Democrats but also these media outlets will lose whatever lingering credibility they have to denounce conspiracy theories and to defend the legitimacy of U.S. elections. And they will deserve that fate. You can’t run around expecting people will take you seriously when you warn of the dangers of toxic, moronic conspiracy theories when you yourself embrace, elevate and promote the most prolific and reckless purveyors of them.
Tanden needs approval from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as the Senate Budget Committee before the full U.S. Senate can vote on her confirmation.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.