Neera Tanden is back. Could she be more powerful?

This closeness to power is a compromise with the undisputed influence that she would have wielded as Biden’s budget director in the Bureau of Administration and Budget, where she would have had great influence over budgetary and regulatory policy. But it also means that she is free from the headaches that may come with cabinet secretary responsibilities, such as: B. BBQ evenings by supervisory committees or sparring with Senate members with whom she had previously come into conflict.

“While I believe she was extraordinarily well qualified to lead OMB, her role as Senior Advisor to the President will provide her with the platform and opportunity to do tremendous service to the public,” said John Podesta, a longtime ally of Tanden. who founded the center for American Progress, the think tank ran tanden before going to the White House.

On the more immediate side, the White House is reaching out to Tanden, who served as a health advisor in the Obama administration, to address the potential consequences of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Should the Conservative Majority Court 6-3 remove portions of the massive health bill, the Biden government would likely have to make quick and energetic efforts to restore and rescue a system that the Democrats deemed critical of providing access to health care for millions and one of them watch their greatest political successes in decades.

While at the CAP, Tanden helped mobilize opposition to then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overthrow the ACA. The White House brought tanden now and said that The stake in an upcoming SCOTUS decision is similarly high.

“Especially after the country has fought so hard to make these advances in overcoming the pandemic, the stake of the Supreme Court case on the ACA couldn’t be higher,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement to POLITICO . “It would be terrible if millions of Americans lost their health care or declared themselves to have a pre-existing disease, especially during an historic public health crisis. And the president knew Neera had the right guidelines and contact information, as well as initiative and leadership, to lead this important project planning for possible outcomes of this case and to ensure that the federal government’s approach to online accessibility is what it needs in to be the 21stst Century.”

Another White House official described Tanden’s role as similar to that of senior advisor Gene Sperling, who was hired to point out the American bailout plan.

There will be complications associated with being a senior consultant. The position can be limiting as there are sometimes ill-defined responsibilities and limited staff, said Jennifer Palmieri, former Obama White House communications director and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign spokeswoman. She didn’t think this was a concern for Tanden, who had previously navigated these waters.

“A senior White House advisor can be a tremendous influence if you know how to use him properly and navigate the larger bureaucracy,” said Palmieri. “This is Neera’s third White House serving as a health policy advisor for the second time. She knows how to use the role to make a big impact.”

In addition to serving in the Obama’s White House, Tanden also served in Bill Clinton’s White House as assistant director of domestic affairs. Your relationship with Klain dates back to the days of the White House in Clinton. “She’s very close to Ron, so there’s a lot of mutual respect,” Palmieri said.

In the current White House, Tanden’s portfolio, which in addition to preparing for the Supreme Court ruling on health care, also supports the U.S. digital service in updating government websites and digitizing agency services, is expected to grow. In the past, White House senior advisors have taken on a number of roles, providing messaging and strategic advice to the President and leading specific projects.

“I think in time she will be there working on other things and I would be surprised if it doesn’t work out because she is talented and needs help,” said Shekar Narasimhan, chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund. who saw Tanden at the White House last week. “I suspect that your responsibility will grow over time, not the other way around.”

Tanden’s application to become OMB director enraged senators who complained she was a political lightning rod and a bitter partisan – especially on social media, where she addressed individual senators in highly personal tweets.

But her withdrawal left Asian American activists and pressure groups angry, arguing that she was wrongly targeted because of her gender and race. Tanden is the daughter of Indian immigrants.

After Tanden withdrew her nomination, the White House appointed OMB deputy director Shalanda Young, who is Black, as acting director. The White House has assured various elected officials and interest groups that Young will become the permanent OMB director, multiple sources say. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including influential Biden ally Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Campaigned for Young before Tanden was even nominated.

Asian-American activists frustrated that Biden failed to name an Asian American as one of his 15 cabinet secretaries plan to keep pushing for one. Asian Americans have been in presidential cabinets since 2000, including Donald Trumps.

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Vice President Kamala Harris are the only Asian-Americans currently with cabinet jobs in the Biden administration.

“If a vacancy arises – and you and I know that there will be cabinet vacancies in a four-year term, whether next year or next – we would absolutely urge that it be filled by a qualified Asian becomes. Americans, ”said Narasimhan. “It’s not over yet. Do we have grudges? No. We just wait and wait for the next vacancy before we all band together and say,” Hey, it’s our turn too. “

Asian-American groups are calling for Nani Coloretti, a former Obama deputy secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to be appointed director of the OMB. Coloretti would be the first Filipino American to be nominated for a cabinet position. She is currently Senior Vice President of the Urban Institute’s think tank.

An OMB candidate is expected to be named in the next two weeks after the budget was released on Friday, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Even when AAPI groups push for greater cabinet representation, they recognize that having tanden in the White House is a great advantage.

“We are very pleased to have Neera Tanden as one of our community, a highly qualified South Asian woman and political leader who is represented at the highest level of government and who we very much hope will serve as someone in the west wing of those we are addressing Raises Problems Everyone cares, ”said Neil Makhija, Executive Director of IMPACT, an Indian-US advocacy group that has been in contact with Tanden.

“Neera was clearly facing double standards,” said Makhija. “I hope some will understand that we are a community of colors and deserve positive steps to increase our representation. I see that we still have a lot to do to build power. … Targeted efforts must be made to support our representation, as is the case for any community or color. “

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