Neera Tanden named as Biden's staff secretary

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WASHINGTON — Neera Tanden, the former president of the Center for American Progress whose nomination as White House budget director was pulled earlier this year, has been named President Joe Biden’s staff secretary, a White House official confirmed Friday.

Tanden has been working in the White House since May as a senior adviser to the president. Her added responsibility as the staff secretary is to control the flow of documents to Biden and other senior staff.

"The Staff Secretary role is the central nervous system of the White House and moves the decision-making process and manages a wide variety of issues for the President," a White House official said in a statement. The role, a senior position, was once held by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and John Podesta, who later served as then-President Bill Clinton's chief of staff.

Tanden will replace White House staff secretary, Jessica Hertz, who recently planned to leave the position, Politico reported.

As a senior adviser to Biden, Tanden had been tasked with preparing for different contingencies that could result from the Supreme Court’s consideration of Republican lawsuits seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act, NBC News reported in May. She was also assigned to launch a review of the United States Digital Service whose mission is to make government accessible through technology.

A White House official said Friday that Tanden has also been working on the president's Build Back Better agenda. The official said that she will keep her senior adviser title "and will continue to provide leadership on particular projects and initiatives, and will report to the chief of staff."

The White House withdrew her nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget in early March after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voiced opposition to confirming her. Manchin and many pointed to what they described as inflammatory statements she had previously made publicly.

Tanden is a founding member and former president and CEO of CAP, a major liberal-leaning think tank based in Washington.

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