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 BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE to nominate Capitol Hill veteran Shalanda Young as White House budget director with the nomination of his original pick, Neera TandenNeera TandenCapito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Senate backlog of Biden nominees frustrates White House Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare 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 BeattyLeft warns Pelosi they'll take down Biden infrastructure bill Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Black Caucus meets with White House over treatment of Haitian migrants MORE (D-Ohio), has already thrown her support behind Young, who is Black, should Tanden's nomination be withdrawn.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 FudgeEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act New HUD rule aimed at preventing evictions from public housing Briahna Joy Gray: 'Strong likelihood' Turner will run for the House in 2022 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 ButterfieldProgressives cheer, moderates groan as Biden visit caps chaotic week  Biden visits Capitol with agenda in the balance WHIP LIST: How House Democrats, Republicans say they'll vote on infrastructure bill 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 ShelbyMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit Here are the 11 GOP senators who helped advance the debt extension 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 ManchinPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Climate activists target Manchin Hoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat 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 KlainBiden approval at 50 percent in CNN poll Interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' 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.

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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 BassFirst senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid Bass receives endorsement from EMILY's List Photos of the Week: Congressional Baseball Game, ashen trees and a beach horse 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.