Capitol Hill has picked Shalanda Young to lead OMB — but Biden hasn’t yet

Congressional Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to nominate Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management and Budget after Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination amid opposition in the Senate.

Young is Biden’s nominee to serve as deputy director of the office and currently serves as staff director and clerk for the House Appropriations Committee.┬áThe Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native would be the first Black woman to lead the OMB if nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats are publicly pressuring the Biden administration to pick the well-respected congressional staffer. Young has won bipartisan praise for her work on the committee, and her reputation carries significant weight in both chambers on both sides of the aisle.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday acknowledged that Young is a favorite on Capitol Hill for the position, but said there are a “range of individuals in the country who are qualified for the job.”

“We certainly know there’s lots of support on Capitol Hill, and again (Biden) thinks so highly of her, he nominated her to serve in a senior role,” Psaki said at a White House briefing.

Psaki described Young as “incredibly qualified and well-respected,” and said the White House is hoping to have her confirmed by the Senate as deputy director so that she can step into the role of acting director in the interim.

In her role as staff director, Young has overseen about $1.4 trillion in annual federal funding for a wide range of programs. She has also played a key role in crafting coronavirus relief legislation and other emergency bills related to natural disasters, Biden’s transition team said in January when they announced her nomination for deputy OMB director.

Young was the first Black woman to serve as the staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. She has worked on the committee for more than 14 years, and took over as staff director in 2017.

Prior to working on the committee, Young was a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

The Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday expressed strong support for Young to be Biden’s OMB director nominee.

“Her leadership of the OMB would be historic and would send a strong message that this Administration is ready and willing to work with Congress to craft budgets that meet the critical challenges which face our nation, and can secure broad, bipartisan support,” caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said in a statement.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said this week that Young is “highly qualified” for the job.

“Everybody who deals with you on our side has nothing but good things to say,” said Graham. “You might talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it.”

Young testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday morning as Biden’s nominee for deputy OMB director. She testified before the Senate Budget Committee earlier this week.

Tanden, the president of the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, withdrew her nomination this week amid opposition from key senators over her past criticisms of lawmakers on social media.