Briefline

Biden’s pick for budget director advances toward U.S. Senate confirmation

By: - March 15, 2022 4:45 am

Shalanda Young fields questions Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, from the Senate Committee on the Budget. On Feb. 9, she received approval from two Senate panels to become the White House budget director. (Screen capture from Senate Committee on the Budget)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate gave President Joe Biden’s budget director nominee a first nod of approval Monday night, voting to advance her to a final confirmation vote later this week. 

The 53-31 vote gives Louisiana native Shalanda Young bipartisan support to become director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level agency that releases the president’s annual budget request, oversees federal agencies’ performance and releases statements of administration policy.

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Young, a longtime House Democratic Appropriations Committee staffer who worked her way up the ranks to become staff director in 2017, was confirmed to the deputy OMB director role last year. She has been working as acting budget director ever since. 

“If confirmed, Shalanda Young would make history as the very first Black woman confirmed by the Senate to lead the OMB — another glass ceiling shattered by another member of the president’s historic Cabinet,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday. 

Among the Republicans voting to advance Young’s nomination Monday evening were Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

As part of this confirmation process, Young testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as the Budget Committee last month. 

The panels later voted 8-6 and 15-6, respectively, to send her nomination to the Senate floor, though many of the GOP senators on the panels voted against her. 

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the top Republican on the Homeland panel, voted for Young during the committee markup. But he expressed frustration at the time that OMB wasn’t producing documents regarding the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response and a national security issue. 

“I think it’s troubling, I think it’s a White House not being responsive to legitimate congressional requests or transparency,” Portman said on Feb. 9.

Monday’s procedural Senate vote showed a similar level of support to the one the Senate took last March, when lawmakers voted 63-37 to confirm her to the deputy director role.

If confirmed, Young would become Biden’s first OMB director, 14 months into his presidency. 

Biden originally nominated Neera Tanden for the OMB director position, but she withdrew her nomination after it became clear she wouldn’t get the votes needed in the Senate amid GOP opposition and concerns from several Democratic lawmakers over past statements and policy positions. 

Tanden is now White House staff secretary. 

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Jennifer Shutt
Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

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