Neera Tanden will start as senior adviser to President Joe Biden in the White House on Monday, two months after her cabinet nomination in the Senate got into trouble.
Tanden, a veteran Democrat, will have to prepare the administration’s response to the consequences of a challenge Republicans pose to the Supreme Court health law, and the U.S. digital service, which works to make government more accessible. according to news reports.
There is no announcement from the White House about the appointment yet, but according to news reports, Teeth will start on Monday.
President Biden had previously appointed Tanden as head of the Office of Management and Budget, an important department with wide oversight of the entire federal government. If confirmed, she would have become the first Indian-American to hold a cabinet position in the federal government (Republican Nikki Haley held a cabinet position as ambassador to the UN).
Concerns about her nomination immediately began to surface over tweets she posted and has since removed. She targeted Bernie Sanders, an independent senator who joins Democrats, over his challenge to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination, and Republicans.
However, the final blow came from a fellow Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, whose vote in an evenly divided Senate would be critical. He brought her chances to life by announcing his opposition to her nomination and calling her ‘openly biased statements’.
The White House soon withdrew Tanden’s nomination, saying he was doing so at her request.
But President Biden has made it clear that he would find a place in his government for her in another capacity.
Ron Klain, a longtime collaborator of the president and his chief of staff, is considered the strongest ally of Teeth in the White House. He has worked hard to bolster support for the nomination of Teeth, and he is widely expected to secure a position in the Biden White House, despite Senate disapproval. She does not need confirmation from the Senate as senior adviser.
Teeth joins a battery of nearly 30 Native Americans – or more – in the Biden government that includes Vivek Murthy, who is working as a surgeon for a second time; Vinay Reddy, director of the president’s team of speechwriters; and Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, an agency in the White House that advises the president on domestic and global economic policy.
Teeth was a senior health reform adviser at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, developing policies and provisions of the Affordable Care Act, then President Barack Obama’s signature law, now called Obamacare. Thereafter, she headed a liberal center for American progress and was seen as a contender for a cabinet in a Hillary Clinton administration.
Teeth was born in Massachusetts in 1970 as parents from India, who divorced when she was five. She and her brother were raised by their mother on their own and the family went through bad times – Teeth said they relied on food stamps – government support – to get by.