Management

OMB deputy nominee appears to have an easy confirmation ahead

OMB deputy director nominee Shalanda Young at her March 2, 2021 nomination hearing. Image from video stream. 

The nomination of Neera Tanden to serve as President Joe Biden's budget director is in trouble, but Shalanda Young, recently staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, appears headed for easy confirmation to serve as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Several Republicans said they'd support her if Biden nominated her instead of Tanden as OMB director. Republicans have they have publicly clashed with Tanden over her caustic social media history.

"Everybody that deals with you on our side has nothing but good things to say [about you]," said ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "You'll get my support maybe for both jobs, who knows?"

The Hill has reported that multiple members of the Congressional Black Caucus are pushing for Young to get the job leading OMB if Tanden's nomination is scuttled.

Biden officials say that the administration is still behind Tanden's nomination.

At a Monday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration is "continuing, of course, to fight for the confirmation of every nominee that the president puts forward." She added: "We'll see if we have 50 votes. That's part of the journey. That's part of democracy in action."

Young also voiced her support for Tanden's nomination.

"I certainly think before this committee, you saw Neera Tanden apologize profusely about the tweets. I think what you also saw is an expansive knowledge of various policy areas. I do think we both bring some skill sets in different areas where we'd make a great team if both of us were confirmed," she said. "I hope if you listen to her time before this committee and [the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee], she really did lay out her vast policy experience."

Young touched on federal IT and workforce issues under questioning from the committee.

The modernization of information technology is fundamentally a resource problem, she told lawmakers. Congress doesn't prioritize it in its budgets, but updating IT systems could help with things like combating fraud in benefits delivery, Young said.

She also talked about her roots as a civil servant in the National Institutes of Health. Empowering civil servants in OMB would be a goal if she's confirmed, she said, as would ensuring that benefits for feds are included in budgets.

"Often in these budget deals that come up, one of the main losers are federal workers. We tend to cut their retirement. We tend to do things that don't do a lot for morale," she said. She said she wants "to let them know that we appreciate their service."

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering the federal workforce. She is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.

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