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Shalanda Young becomes first Black woman to lead White House budget office following Senate confirmation

Young has served as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget for the past year. She was confirmed last March by the Senate to serve as the deputy director and ascended to the top role after Neera Tanden’s nomination was withdrawn because Tanden didn’t have enough support in the Senate. Nearly nine months after Tanden’s nomination was withdrawn, Biden officially nominated Young as director.

“Another glass ceiling shattered by a remarkable member of the President’s historic Cabinet,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said of Young in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday ahead of the vote.

Schumer said, “It shouldn’t have taken this long to confirm someone as obviously as qualified as Shalanda Young. She’s been leading the OMB for nearly a year. She knows the budget and appropriations processes like the back of her hand. She’s proven capable of working with Republicans and Democrats alike. And it was through her guidance the administration notched some of its biggest victories including the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law.”

When Tanden’s nomination fell through last year, many Democrats on Capitol Hill pushed for Young to get the top job. The Congressional Black Caucus rallied behind Young for the job in the Biden administration, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her entire House Democratic leadership team.

Young was the first Black woman to serve as the staff director of the House Appropriations Committee and won bipartisan praise for her work in that role. She worked on the committee for more than 14 years and took over as staff director in 2017.

The key office, which oversees all budget development and execution and has significant influence over the President’s agenda, has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since the President took office last January. It was the last Cabinet-level position that remained unfilled.

Some experts criticized the delay in naming an official director and argued that while acting directors can still perform the full range of official duties they lack the full weight of the permanent title. In addition to budget development and execution, OMB reviews an array of policies and rules throughout the federal government.

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