WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Shalanda Young of Louisiana to serve as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in a 63-37 vote.
House Democratic leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), have pushed for President Joe Biden to resubmit Young’s nomination to instead lead OMB in the top job.
“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 House leaders said in a statement.
The first pick for OMB director was Neera Tanden, who withdrew after her critical tweets toward GOP members surfaced and she lost support among senators. The Biden administration has not yet submitted another nominee.
Shortly after Young’s confirmation, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) tweeted her support.
“Now, let’s make her OMB Director!” she wrote on Twitter.
While Young is a frontrunner among House lawmakers to helm OMB, Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Keiko Hirono of Hawaii have criticized Biden for not having a Cabinet member from the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community, given hate crimes against the Asian community and the mass shooting in Atlanta last week that left six women of Asian descent dead along with two others.
Duckworth, the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, said she will not vote for Biden’s nominees until he makes a commitment to name members from the AAPI community to key positions in the executive branch, according to Capitol Hill pool reports.
“I’ve been talking to them for months and they’re still not aggressive so I’m not going to be voting for any nominee from the White House other than diversity nominees,” Duckworth said. “Right now I’m focused on the fact that there’s not enough AAPI representation.”
Young, who was born and raised in Louisiana, drew praise from both Republican senators from Louisiana during her confirmation hearings, and Sen. John Kennedy even signaled that he would back her to lead OMB rather than serve in the No. 2 spot. But Kennedy ended up voting against her nomination in committee.
However, Kennedy backed Young’s nomination during the full Senate vote on confirmation.
Several Senate Republicans who voted against her cited concerns over Young’s written testimony about the Hyde amendment, which is a provision in appropriations bills that prevents federal money from going toward abortions unless it would save a woman’s life or the pregnancy is due to sexual assault or incest.
Young wrote that if she were confirmed as deputy director of the agency, she would follow the law, which could be changed by Congress. Biden has expressed his support for ending the amendment.
“Further, eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color,” she wrote.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines 7-6 and the Budget Committee 14-8 on Young’s nomination earlier this month.
Young first came to Congress in 2007. She worked as a congressional aide and served as the Democratic staff director for the House Appropriations Committee.