Shalanda Young has emerged as one of the frontrunners to become President Joe Biden’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, with several Republicans already saying they would support her if nominated.
Young was originally tapped to be the office’s deputy director, but during her confirmation hearing Tuesday, senators floated that she may ultimately be the one leading the department as Neera Tanden faced continued criticism over her past tweets.
“You’ll get my support, maybe for both jobs,” said Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. “Everybody who deals with you on our side has nothing but good things to say. You might talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it.”
“You may be more than deputy,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy. “I don’t expect you to comment on that.”
Hours after Tuesday’s hearing, Tanden announced that she had withdrawn her nomination.
“Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities,” she said Tuesday night.
After Biden announced Tanden’s nomination in December, she was immediately lambasted by Republicans over past tweets, many of which personally attacked GOP politicians. Tanden, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, also attacked Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary.
Sanders chaired her first confirmation hearing, and had not said publicly whether he would support her nomination.
Tanden’s path to confirmation was first jeopardized after West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said that he would not support her, meaning that she would need Republican support. Following Manchin’s announcement moderate Republicans followed suit, quickly narrowing Tanden’s path. (RELATED: Opposition Against Neera Tanden Grows, Jeopardizing Confirmation)
Her nomination hinged on the support of Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who did not say how she intended to vote before Tanden announced her withdrawal.
Young previously served as the staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, playing a central role in bipartisan funding negotiations. She also served as a congressional aide, which she said would allow her to complement Tanden had she been confirmed.
“I do think we both bring some skillsets in different areas where we’d make a great team if both of us were confirmed,” Young said Tuesday.
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