Senate confirms Shalanda Young as Biden's OMB director in historic vote

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The Senate made history Tuesday by confirming the first Black woman to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Shalanda Young, who has been serving as the acting OMB director, will become the official director after a 61 to 36 vote in the Senate Tuesday afternoon. Her bipartisan confirmation will solidify Young’s place as President Biden’s Cabinet official and top aide on his government spending and regulation priorities.

Office of Management and Budget acting director Shalanda Young speaks during a Senate Budget Committee hearing to discuss President Joe Biden’s budget request for FY 2022 on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Young’s confirmation marks “another glass ceiling shattered by a remarkable member of the President’s historic Cabinet.”

“It shouldn’t have taken this long to confirm someone as obviously qualified as Shalanda Young,” Schumer said in advance of the vote. “She’s been leading the OMB for nearly a year, she knows the budget and appropriations process like the back of her hand. She’s proven capable of working with Republicans and Democrats alike.”

Young was confirmed by the Senate a year ago on March 23, 2021, to be the deputy budget director in a 63-37 vote. The Republicans who voted against her at the time raised concerns about her opposition to the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that bans federal funding for most abortions and has become a sticking point in budget negotiations under Biden. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives for a weekly policy luncheon, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Young told the Senate in a written response that “eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color.”

Biden had initially nominated Neera Tanden to lead OMB, but she withdrew last year over a lack of congressional support and past Twitter posts that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said would indicate Tanden would have a “toxic and detrimental” relationship with Congress if confirmed.

Tanden went on to serve as White House staff secretary, which did not require Senate approval. Biden then nominated Young in November 2021 to become the OMB director. 

Young is a veteran of Capitol Hill where she built relationships on both sides of the aisle. She was staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, where she oversaw the $1.3 trillion annual appropriations bills and aspects of COVID-19 relief aid.  

Shalanda Young is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Budget Committee hearing to examine her nomination to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Young’s experience in Washington, D.C., stretches back to at least 2001, when she worked as a presidential management fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to that, Young got her master’s degree from Tulane University in Louisiana, where she grew up in the town of Clinton.

More recently, she worked with Congress to get some of Biden’s key spending priorities through Congress, including the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.  

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