Senate Confirms Biden Cabinet-Level Appointee After Year-Long Vacancy

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Senate confirmed Shalanda Young to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Tuesday, more than a year after she began leading the executive office as Acting Director.

Young was confirmed in March 2021 to serve as OMB Deputy Director, although she immediately stepped into the Acting Director role after senators rejected Biden nominee Neera Tanden. During Young’s 2021 confirmation hearings, several Republicans suggested that she would succeed as the permanent head of the office. Young also received support from the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.

President Joe Biden formally nominated Young to the permanent position in November. She is the first black woman to lead the OMB. Before her initial appointment, Young served in various roles as a Democratic staffer on the House Appropriations Committee.

Fourteen Republicans joined all 47 present Democrats in supporting Young’s nomination. Those Republicans included South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, both of whom praised Young during her deputy hearings. (RELATED: Pelosi, Democratic Leadership Endorse Potential OMB Nominee)

“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,” Graham said at the time.

Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire missed the vote.

Bipartisan praise for Young stood in stark contrast to Tanden’s reception. The long-time Democratic operative and close ally of Hillary Clinton was staunchly criticized for her history of tweeting insults at Republicans and Democrats alike. Tanden deleted thousands of tweets before her confirmation hearings, some of which targeted Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“The comments were personal. I mean, you called Sen. Sanders everything but an ignorant slut,” Kennedy said at the time.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin ultimately announced that he would not support Tanden, leading her to withdraw her nomination.