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December 1, 2020 at 6:39 AM EST

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Biden’s pick to lead White House budget office emerges as lightning rod for GOP

By Jeff Stein, Annie Linskey and Seung Min Kim

Biden’s pick to lead the powerful White House budget office generated early controversy Monday, with Neera Tanden emerging as an immediate target for conservatives and Republican lawmakers.

Tanden, 50, has regularly clashed with the GOP in a manner that Republicans say will complicate her Senate confirmation process. Several GOP senators said Monday that she could run into trouble during confirmation hearings, warning that her “partisan” background could make it hard for her to win Republican support.

The two Senate Republicans poised to lead committees that would hold Tanden’s confirmation hearings both declined to commit to doing so. One of them — Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is in line to chair the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — also said he hopes that Biden will decide not to formally nominate Tanden.

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