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 nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE to nominate Capitol Hill veteran Shalanda Young as White House budget director with the nomination of his original pick, Neera TandenNeera TandenThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Schumer back down on his deadline? Biden's budget vacancy raises eyebrows White House releases staff salaries showing narrowed gender pay gap 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 BeattyRep. Al Green, Texas state lawmaker arrested outside Capitol during voting rights protest CBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium Yellen to brief House Democrats on Tuesday on rental aid MORE (D-Ohio), has already thrown her support behind Young, who is Black, should Tanden's nomination be withdrawn.


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 FudgeBiden called Shontel Brown to congratulate her after Ohio primary win Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cuomo defiant as Biden, Democrats urge resignation 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 ButterfieldBlack Caucus presses Democratic leaders to expedite action on voting rights Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack Lobbying world 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.” 


Indeed, unlike Tanden, Young would likely win significant support from Republicans and cruise to confirmation as OMB director. Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress | Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations Senate panel advances first three spending bills Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate 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 ManchinSenate rejects GOP effort to add Trump border wall to bipartisan infrastructure deal Youth organizations call on Biden to ensure 'bold' climate investments Democrats barrel toward August voting rights deadline 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 KlainThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week White House looks to cool battle with Facebook 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 BassBass planning to run for reelection amid talk of LA mayoral bid Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying 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.