US President Joe Biden named longtime Democratic insider Nira Tandon as White House staff secretary in Washington on Friday, 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, Tandon has been a senior adviser to the president, working quietly behind the scenes to build support among interest groups for his social spending agenda and oversee the government reform agenda with officials in the budget office.
Tandon previously served as president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and was a close adviser to former Sen. Hillary Clinton. In his new job, 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 he 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 that 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.
Biden’s decision marks a remarkable comeback for Tandon, who faced fierce resistance from members of the Senate on both sides of the aisle for his relentlessly caustic comments on social media.
During the four years of President Donald Trump’s administration, Tandon presented himself as a fierce and outspoken moderate critic of the administration and lawmakers – on both sides – whom he felt were not supportive enough for the cause. Those she believed in.
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, Tandon dropped out when Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate Republican, announced she supported Trump’s effort to lower the corporate tax rate.
“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 Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said it would be “hard to return to honor and respect with the 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 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 secretary of staff. Brett Kavanaugh, now an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, was the staff secretary to former President George W. Bush.