Young would be first Black woman in US history to hold the powerful White House budget and policy post.
United States President Joe Biden has announced he will nominate Shalanda Young to lead the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, an influential post that sets policies across the US government.
Young has been serving as the acting director of OMB for eight months. She would be the first Black woman to serve in the position once confirmed by the US Senate.
Young “will not only be a tremendously qualified director, she will also be an historic director,” Biden said in a prepared video released by the White House on Wednesday.
Young’s appointment comes as Biden’s Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in Congress, face a deadline to pass new legislation providing funding for government agencies.
Part of the executive branch, OMB, which administers the federal budget, will play a key role in the implementation of Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending plan and his Build Back Better proposal for $1.75 trillion in social and clean energy spending.
Young had previously served as a staff director to Democrats on the Appropriations Committee of the US House of Representatives, which writes all spending legislation.
Young was confirmed as deputy director of OMB by a bipartisan Senate vote 63-37 on March 23. Biden said he and congressional leaders had been “impressed” by Young in her handling of the job as acting director.
Young became acting OMB director when Biden’s first nominee, Neera Tanden, faced opposition in the Senate for her previous work as a Democratic partisan.
Tanden had been a top aide to Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, and a policy director in the administration of former President Barack Obama.
After the Senate declined to confirm Tanden as OMB director, Biden named her as a senior adviser, part of his White House inner circle, which did not require Senate confirmation.
Biden said on Wednesday he will name Nani Coloretti to be deputy director of OMB to replace Young in that role. Coloretti is at present a senior vice president at the Urban Institute, a non-governmental organisation advocating policies to promote US cities.
A Filipino-American, Coloretti had previously served in management roles at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Treasury in the Obama administration.
Fulfilling a 2020 campaign pledge, Biden has prioritised appointing women and minorities to key administration positions. Biden on Wednesday called Young and Coloretti “two extraordinary, history-making women”.
Meanwhile, Congress faces a December 3 deadline to renew funding for the US government, or federal agencies will be forced to suspend operations. The US faces a second critical deadline in December when the Treasury Department’s authority to borrow in financial markets expires if Congress does not act to extend it.
US Senate and House pass temporary funding bill hours before midnight deadline, sending measure to the White House.
The US president’s first proposed budget marks sharp changes from Donald Trump’s spending priorities.
Both Republican and Democratic US legislators had raised opposition to Neera Tanden’s nomination over her past tweets.
Minority groups are upset with Biden’s picks so far and are pressuring him to add diversity to his team.
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