UPDATED: 9:44 a.m. ET, March 19, 2021 —
Black congressional leaders are doubling down in their efforts to negotiate talks with the Biden administration over the director vacancy in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
More than two weeks after Neera Tanden withdrew her name, Shalanda Young‘s nomination for the lead role sits idle as the White House considers a list of other nominees.
“I assume that they’re complying with whatever process they’ve established, but I’m definitely gonna weigh in,” Rep. Barbara Lee told Politico.
Young, a Capitol Hill veteran with over a decade of experience was nominated as Deputy Director of the OMB, which would make her second in command.
“There is no one else who brings her depth of experience, or congressional relationships and understanding of the budget process, who has already been vetted and who has the support of Democrats and Republicans,” said Rep. Steven Horsford. “This needs to happen.” Horsford, the 1st Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has led efforts between the White House and Caucus members. The Hispanic Caucus also backs Young as a nominee for OMB director.
Insiders claim the White House is waiting for the Senate to vote on Young’s confirmation which is slated to take place next week.
“I am looking forward to the president naming her as the director and the Senate confirming her as quickly as possible,” Horsford continued.
President Joe Biden is apparently facing pressure from AAPI advocacy groups who want representation after Tanden, an Indian-American, stepped down due to pressure over resurfaced Tweets that criticized Republican and Democrat Leaders.
“It would be a shame for anybody to say ‘Well I’ve done enough for Black women so I’ll find somebody else to put at OMB,'” said Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. “No, she deserves to be there because of her experiences and because of her qualifications.”
President Joe Biden will need to go back to the drawing board regarding fulfilling the director role for the Office of Management and Budget after Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination, facing fierce opposition in the Senate confirmation process.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” Tanden said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The belief is that Shalanda Young, who was nominated for OMB deputy director, will serve as head of OMB until a nominee is selected.
Republicans and Democrats are eyeing Young in hopes that she will be named as the next nominee to lead the OMB office in the director’s seat. Because of her lengthy career working as a top aide in Congress, Young seemingly has the bipartisan support she would need if her name was to advance.
On Wednesday, the official Twitter account for the congressional Black Caucus tweeted endorsed Young for OMB Director.
In addition House Democratic leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn endorsed Young with a statement on Wednesday.
“We have worked closely with her for several years and highly recommend her for her intellect, her deep expertise on the federal budget and her determination to ensure that our budget reflects our values as a nation,” the statement reads.
“You may be more than deputy,” Sen. John Kennedy told Young during her first confirmation hearing on Tuesday. “I don’t expect you to comment on that.”
Young, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, served as a top aide on the House Committee on Appropriations for 14 years. In 2017 she was named Democratic staff director of the committee. Prior to her time as staff director, she worked as a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institute of Health.
“The president thinks so highly of her he nominated her to be the deputy director of OMB, which is a very senior and significant job and role in the administration,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
“I will reserve his space for him making his own decision about who is going to lead the budget department,” she continued. “We certainly know there’s lots of support on Capitol Hill. And again, he thinks so highly of her he nominated her to serve in a senior role.”
Psaki warned that a nominee would not be announced this week. A report by CBS News confirmed Biden is considering his deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed, and Gene Sperling, a former White House economic advisor under President Clinton and Barack Obama.
Tanden, along with other nominees of color bound for top ranking or cabinet positions, were met with opposition from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over the last week. Tanden’s nomination fell short after she was accused of making harsh criticisms towards prominent Republicans and Democrats on Twitter. Tanden’s nomination was heralded as an important moment for American history. If confirmed, she would have been the first Indian American to hold a cabinet position.
Only 13 of Biden’s 23 cabinet-level nominees who have to pass Senate approval have been confirmed.