White House chief of staff: Young a ‘very serious candidate’ for OMB director

OMB Deputy Director nominee Shalanda Young
Greg Nash

White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Tuesday that Shalanda Young is a “very serious candidate” to be President Biden’s nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“She is certainly a very serious candidate for the leadership position in OMB,” Klain said during an interview with Punchbowl News on Tuesday evening.

Young, whom Biden has already nominated to serve as deputy director of OMB, is a favorite for the position among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Biden has not yet announced a new nominee since Neera Tanden withdrew as his first nominee for OMB director last week, and Klain’s remarks on Tuesday indicated a decision could be some time away.

Klain said the administration is focused on getting the rest of Biden’s Cabinet confirmed and suggested that Biden would nominate an OMB director after Young is confirmed as deputy director. Young will face two committee votes on Wednesday to advance her nomination to the Senate floor.

“I think Shalanda Young is very much on that list,” Klain said of individuals Biden is considering for the position. “We’re grateful to have her as part of the team.”

Klain also said that the White House is “looking for a spot” for Tanden in the administration that does not require Senate confirmation. Tanden withdrew before her nomination was put to committee votes last week, as she appeared to lack the votes needed to be confirmed. Those who opposed Tanden’s nomination, including Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), cited her critical tweets targeting Republicans.

“The president thinks Neera is incredibly talented as a policy adviser,” Klain said.

Young, a longtime staffer on the House Appropriations Committee, has received backing from Democratic leaders, the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democratic Coalition. Other names have been floated as potential nominees, including Ann O’Leary, a former chief of staff to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D); former National Economic Council head Gene Sperling; and former Biden aide Sarah Bianchi.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden would wait until at least this week to make an announcement but did not offer a specific timetable. She also said Young could serve as acting director while Biden settles on his nominee.

Tags Gavin Newsom Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Manchin Neera Tanden Office of Management and Budget OMB Ron Klain Shalanda Young
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