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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Explained: Who is Neera Tanden, the Indian-origin likely to be Biden’s budget chief?

The Indian American Tanden was raised by a single mother who was on welfare for over two years. Tanden has said she is a living example of someone helped by government schemes.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2020 8:10:07 pm
Neera Tanden, who is Neera Tanden, Neera Tanden India, Biden's budget chief, joe biden team, joe biden team women, joe biden appointments, express explained, indian expressTanden is Hillary Clinton’s former aide and worked with her during Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 2008. (Photo: AP)

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Indian-origin Neera Tanden as his budget chief. Tanden is the president and CEO of the left-leaning think tank Centre for American Progress (CAP), and the CEO of the American Progress Action Fund.

Under the Trump administration, the position of the budget chief is held by Russell Vought, who has previously served as the Deputy Director and Acting Director before he was confirmed as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in July this year.

Position of the ‘budget chief’

Biden is likely to nominate Tanden –– who is Hillary Clinton’s former aide and worked with her during Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 2008 –– as the Director of the OMB, which will be responsible for managing the Biden administration’s budget.

As per the Wall Street Journal, her nomination is part of the Biden administration’s plan to build a team of liberal and centrist economic advisors.

On her Twitter profile, Tanden describes herself as, “President of @amprog-Center for American Progress, liberal, Indian American, feminist, mom, wife. Not in that order.”

In a 2012 interview she gave to C-Span, Tanden said that when she was studying at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she started getting involved in student government, and ran for her first and only elected office, for vice president of the student body of UCLA, which she won.

The first campaign she worked on was of Michael Dukakis, who was unsuccessful in running for president in 1988. In the interview, Tanden mentioned that when she was 11, she became a “very active Ronald Raegan supporter”.

She added, “I was like my parents – my mother’s always been a Democrat and I was – you know I was having big arguments with her. I was huge, huge Reagan supporter for like two or three years and then I just basically switched in high school. I think you know as I became more interested in women’s issues, I was pro choice as I moved into college and you know I was very clearly a democrat by the time I got to that first semester and started volunteering for Mike Dukakis.”

Tanden’s parents divorced when she was five and she was raised by a single mother who was on welfare for over two years thereafter. Tanden has previously said she is a living example of someone who has been helped by government schemes such as food stamps, free and reduced lunches and subsidised housing. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

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So what will Tanden’s responsibilities as the budget chief be?

As the head of the OMB, Tanden will be responsible for the development and execution of the budget, managing regulatory policy, legislative clearance and coordination and dealing with executive orders and presidential memoranda.

There are positions within the OMB that are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The positions include the director, the deputy director, the deputy director for management, and the administrators of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of Federal Financial Management.

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