WASHINGTON—The nomination of Shalanda Young of Louisiana as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget was advanced by two Senate committees on Wednesday, as the White House considers its new pick for the top OMB post.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines 7-6 and the Budget Committee 14-8 to send Young’s nomination to the full Senate. The OMB develops and carries out the president’s budgets, and also reviews and coordinates federal rulemaking, among other duties.
Both Republican senators from Louisiana supported Young’s nomination during her hearings, with Sen. John Kennedy signaling that he would back her to lead OMB rather than serve in the No.2 spot. However, Kennedy voted against her nomination in committee.
His office did not respond to a request for comment on why he opposed Young. The other Republican senator from Louisiana, Bill Cassidy, is not a member of either committee but said during Young’s hearings that he would back her.
Some Republicans who voted against Young’s nomination cited concerns over her written testimony response about the Hyde amendment, a provision which bars federal funds from going toward abortions unless it would save a woman’s life or the pregnancy is due to sexual assault or incest.
In her written testimony, Young wrote that if she is confirmed she would follow the law, adding that the president has expressed to Congress his support for ending the Hyde 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.
House leaders are pushing for President Joe Biden to renominate Young to be the head of OMB after Neera Tanden, the president’s first selection to lead the agency, withdrew her nomination when it became clear she did not have the support of all Democrats in a tight 50-50 Senate.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have commended Young for her bipartisan approach in Congress as a staff member for the House Appropriations Committee, particularly her work on the coronavirus relief packages, as well as her long standing relationships with members in both parties.
During her confirmation hearings, Young said that OMB should be focused on developing legislative proposals for handling the pandemic and getting relief to Americans.
“With COVID-19 deaths surpassing 500,000, our focus must remain on beating the virus, delivering immediate relief to millions of struggling Americans, and ensuring that we emerge from these crises even stronger than we were before,” she said during her opening statement. “If confirmed, I look forward to engaging with members of Congress from both parties on this and other important work.”
Ron Klain, White House chief of staff, told Punchbowl News in an interview that Young “is certainly a very serious candidate for the lead position in OMB.”
Young first came to Congress in 2007 to work as a congressional aide. She earned a bachelor of arts degree at Loyola University New Orleans and a master of health administration degree from Tulane University. She is currently the Democratic staff director for the House Appropriations Committee.
A Senate vote is not yet scheduled.