Black lawmakers urge Biden to nominate Shalanda Young for OMB as process slows


Democratic lawmakers are making it clear who they want to see lead the Office of Management and Budget.

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Congressional Democrats are telling President Joe Biden that they want Shalanda Young to have the spot. But the longtime congressional budget aide has competition, per Politico.

“There is no one else who brings her depth of experience, or congressional relationships and understanding of the budget process, who has already been vetted and who has the support of Democrats and Republicans,” said Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), “This needs to happen.”

Young is the second choice after the first choice, Neera Tanden, was eliminated due to offensive tweets surfacing. Now House Democrats are fighting for Young but the White House is staying mum on who the top contender is.

Shalanda Young (The Council on Foundations)

“I am looking forward to the president naming her as the director and the Senate confirming her as quickly as possible,” added Horsford.

Young is a graduate of Loyola University who also holds a Master’s from Tulane University. She is Clinton, Louisiana raised and the first Black woman to sit as staff director for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.

“Her legislative prowess, extensive knowledge of federal agencies, incisive strategic mind, and proven track record will be a tremendous asset to the Biden-Harris administration,” the three House leaders, Nancy Pelosi, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and James Clyburn said in a joint statement per The New York Times.

 “Her leadership at the O.M.B. would be historic and would send a strong message that this administration is eager to work in close coordination with members of Congress to craft budgets that meet the challenges of our time and can secure broad, bipartisan support.”

But other advocates are pushing for an Asian or Pacific Islander American to hold down the role.

“There are dozens and dozens of other positions where they are finalizing nominations and confirmations,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) a Biden ally, last week. “So before we jump all over the Biden team on ‘Oh my God, they’re taking too much time.’ Neera Tanden was the nominee until [recently].”

But before any decisions are made Young needs to be confirmed as deputy director of OMB which Biden nominated her for in mid-January. The full Senate will vote on her deputy post role in the next week.

In other news from the Biden-Harris administration, several staffers were let go for past marijuana use.

As reported by theGrio, according to a new report, several White House staffers were allegedly suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, although the President Joe Biden administration initially claimed it would not be a factor.

The Daily Beast reported staffers from several states and from Washington D.C., where the use of cannabis is legal, were swept up in the crackdown. Sources informed the news outlet that a number of younger staffers were affected professionally after honestly answering questions on a lengthy background check.

“It’s exclusively targeting younger staff and staff who came from states where it was legal,” the former staffer said, according to the Daily Beast.

“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers—rather, ex-staffers,” a former White House employee shared with the news outlet. “I was asked to resign.”

Staffers told the Daily Beast that the process was unclear and there was no strictly outlined protocol during the phone conversations.

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“Nothing was ever explained,” they shared. The calls were made by White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic. “The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained.”

Marijuana for recreational use is legal in 15 states and the District, and medical use is legal in 36 states. But it is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government.

Additional reporting by DeMicia Inman

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