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Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head

Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head
© Greg Nash

Top Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members are publicly and privately lobbying President BidenJoe BidenBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color MORE to nominate Capitol Hill veteran Shalanda Young as White House budget director with the nomination of his original pick, Neera TandenNeera TandenFive ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet White House delays release of budget plan MORE, on the brink of collapse.

Young, who already is Biden’s nominee to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), served for the past 14 years as a staffer on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, most recently in the top job of staff director.

The new chair of the CBC, Rep. Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyDemocrats spar over COVID-19 vaccine strategy Black Caucus backs Biden's pick to head DOJ Civil Rights Division Sole GOP vote on House police reform bill says he 'accidentally pressed the wrong voting button' MORE (D-Ohio), has already thrown her support behind Young, who is Black, should Tanden's nomination be withdrawn.

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And the CBC is preparing to send a letter to Biden endorsing Young for the job once that happens, sources said. People who work closely with her on the Appropriations panel describe her as a beloved staffer. 

Young “would be more than qualified. She brings with her a wealth of information about the process. She also knows about the agencies and the issues,” Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), a co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign and part of the team that led his search for a vice presidential running mate, told The Hill.  

“I’ve seen how she’s interacted with people as well. I was the secretary of labor in Delaware and head of personnel, and I know it takes a people person to be able to do a job like that and to do it well. I think she’d be awesome.”

“I think she’s great,” added Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeNina Turner touts herself as 'coalition builder' in House bid Nina Turner raises .6 million in first quarter for Ohio congressional bid The Hill's Morning Report - Biden may find zero GOP support for jobs plan MORE (D-Ohio), who is poised to become Biden’s Housing and Urban Development secretary.

Young “certainly has my support,” Rep. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDemocrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP CBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head MORE (D-N.C.), a former Black Caucus chairman, told The Hill. “Everyone I’ve talked to says she is just a phenomenal appropriator; she understands the appropriations process. She has the support of both sides of the aisle.” 

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Indeed, unlike Tanden, Young would likely win significant support from Republicans and cruise to confirmation as OMB director. Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyFive takeaways from Biden's first budget proposal Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (Ala.), the immediate past chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee who is now the panel’s top Republican, said Wednesday he would support Young if Biden nominated her for the top job, saying she is an “honest broker” who is well-versed in the often arcane budget process.

“She would have my support, and I suspect many of my Republican colleagues would support her, as well,” Shelby said. 

A leading progressive in Washington and the daughter of Indian immigrants, Tanden’s quest to be OMB director appeared to be over Wednesday after two Senate committees scrapped votes that would have sent her nomination to the floor of the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. Her chances of being confirmed took a nosedive a week ago when centrist Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinClose the avenues of foreign meddling Democrats see political winner in tax fight MSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' MORE (D-W.Va.) said he could not support her because of her past tweets attacking senators.  

And despite Biden’s efforts, no GOP senator has said they are prepared to cross the aisle to confirm Tanden given her disparaging tweets

White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainManchin throws cold water on using budget reconciliation Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? White House says bills are bipartisan even if GOP doesn't vote for them MORE said on MSNBC Wednesday that they are “fighting our guts out to get her confirmed” but acknowledged that if they fail, Biden will name her to a key post in the White House that does not require Senate confirmation.

Not all CBC members are ready to throw in the towel on Tanden just yet. 

“We need to do everything we can to ensure Neera is confirmed. I want to see Neera confirmed,” immediate past CBC Chair Karen BassKaren Ruth Bass10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Lobbying world Six women who could be California's next senator MORE (D-Calif.), a Biden ally, told The Hill. “For my Republican colleagues to be upset about tweets — and I understand some of the tweets are directed at them — but we went through four years of tweets from the president calling people all sorts of egregious things. So I don't think that should sink her confirmation."

“I think Shalanda is wonderful. She has done a terrific job on Appropriations,” Bass added. “But we need to see what’s going to happen with Neera.” 

Marty Johnson contributed.