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Tanden: I’m Here Because Of Social Programs, I Will “Shape” Budgets “Lifting Americans Up”


The CEO of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, was selected by President-Elect Joe Biden to join his cabinet and direct the Office of Management and Budget. Bloomberg reports: President-elect Joe Biden is setting up his first confirmation fight with Senate Republicans by choosing Neera Tanden — a sometimes-acerbic Democratic policy wonk with an often-partisan Twitter feed — to serve as his White House budget chief.

NEERA TANDEN, OMB APPOINTEE: Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I am humbled and honored by the trust you placed in the to work with this talented team on behalf of the American people. I’m especially proud to work alongside leaders who understand that budgets are not distractions. They are a reflection of our values. They touch our lives in profound ways, and sometimes they make all the difference. Like the vice president-elect’s mother, Shyamala, my mother Maya was born in India. Like so many millions across every generation, she came to America to pursue a better life. I was raised in a suburb of Boston, a middle-class kid. But when I was five, my parents got divorced and my mom was left on her own with two young children and without a job. She faced a choice; return to India were at a time divorce was stigmatized and the opportunities for her and her children would be limited, or keep fighting for her American dream. She stayed, and America came through for her when times were tough. We relied on food stamps to eat. We relied on Section 8 housing vouchers to pay the rent. We relied on the social net–safety net to get back on her feet. This country gave her a fair shot to reach the middle class, and she made it work. She got a job as a travel agent. And before long, she was able to buy us our own home in Bedford, Massachusetts, and eventually see her children up to college and beyond. I am here today thanks to my mother’s grit, but also thanks to a country that had faith in us and that invested in her humanity and in our dreams. I’m here today because of social programs, because of budgetary choices, because of a government that saw my mother’s dignity and gave her a chance. Now it is my profound honor to help shape those budgets and programs to keep lifting Americans up, to pull families back from the brink, to give everybody a fair chance my mom got and that every single person deserves. That’s the America Maya and Shyamala were drawn to, the America the president-elect and vice president-elect are ready to grow. I believe so strongly that our government is meant to serve all the American people, Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike, all of whom deserve to know their government has their back. I look forward to working together alongside the dedicated career professionals of the OMB to expand the possibilities for every American family. I want to thank my own wonderful family, my husband Ben, without whose love and support I would simply not be here, and our children, Elena and Jayden. Thank you all for this profound opportunity to serve.

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