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Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head

Top Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members are publicly and privately lobbying President BidenJoe BidenBiden ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen’s dropped charges ‘liberal privilege’ MORE to nominate Capitol Hill veteran Shalanda Young as White House budget director with the nomination of his original pick, Neera TandenNeera TandenThe Memo: Biden faces first major setback as Tanden teeters On The Money: Manhattan DA obtains Trump tax returns | Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda | Biden faces first setback as Tanden teeters Washington Post denounces abuse of reporter 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 BeattyBlack Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head Harris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after ‘positive’ meeting with lawmakers MORE (D-Ohio), has already thrown her support behind Young, who is Black, should Tanden’s nomination be withdrawn.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 FudgeBlack Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary 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 members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head Bickering Democrats return with divisions Congress must protect kidney disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic 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 ShelbyBlack Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after ‘positive’ meeting with lawmakers Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy 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 ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Biden ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote 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 ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision The Memo: Biden faces first major setback as Tanden teeters Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head 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 BassBlack Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head George Floyd police reform bill reintroduced in House Six ways to visualize a divided America 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.

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