The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, on Tuesday. Her nomination passed with a vote of 63-37.
Given that prior OMB director nominee Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination on March 3 after facing bipartisan opposition, Young is expected to be appointed the acting director. Tanden ruffled the feathers of both parties, after getting caught deleting thousands of ad hominem and conspiratorial tweets on Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
“I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a statement that day.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in early March that Young was “a very serious candidate” to assume Tanden’s role after the withdrawal. According to Reuters, it is unclear whether the former congressional staffer will remain in the high-ranking position.
Young’s abortion support was a major deterrent for Republicans backing her nomination. In the written answers for her nomination, she claimed that being able to obtain an abortion is “a matter of economic and racial justice.”
“[E]liminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color,” Young wrote.
The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortion. Biden has notably flip-flopped on the legislative provision that Congress passed in 1973. In June 2019, Biden said that “I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”
“This is one where our country is so deeply divided on abortion, where we’ve been able to come together and decide, at a minimum, let’s not tell people with a deep view based on their conscience on this, that they have to pay taxpayer funds for abortion,” Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said upon voting “no” on Young’s nomination being moved forward.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Young’s support for abortion “ignores the devastating toll of abortion on black communities: an abortion rate four times higher than that of their white counterparts.”
“This isn’t justice – it is a profound injustice,” she said. “The fact is, the Hyde Amendment saves 60,000 lives every year.”
Young’s claim that abortion advances racial justice is contradictory, given that black females are four times more likely to obtain an abortion than a white woman, according to a government-funded study.
If Young is not propelled to the director OMB position, she will be the number two ranking member.