By Kate Sullivan, CNN
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his nomination of Shalanda Young to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget and Nani Coloretti to serve as deputy director, putting two women of color at the helm of a critical agency in his administration.
If confirmed by the Senate, Young would be the first Black woman to hold the top post. Coloretti would be one of the highest-ranking Asian American women in the administration.
“Today, it’s my honor to nominate two extraordinary history-making women to lead the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said in a video.
OMB is an incredibly powerful part of the federal government and oversees all budget development and execution. The agency has significant influence over the President’s agenda.
“The Office of Management and Budget has been called the nerve center of our government. This is an agency that not only helps me create the budget, but also makes sure that your tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively and exactly as the law requires,” Biden said.
The President noted both Young and Coloretti have been previously confirmed by the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
Young has been serving as OMB’s acting director since March after the White House pulled Neera Tanden’s nomination for the role because she didn’t have enough support in the Senate. Young has been on parental leave after having a baby last month. Tanden is now serving as White House staff secretary.
The lack of a permanent director at the agency had become more noticeable as Democrats look to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the centerpiece of Biden’s domestic agenda — a potentially multi-trillion dollar package to expand the nation’s social safety net.
If that legislation is passed by Congress, the OMB director would play a key role in implementing the economic agenda. The director will also serve as a senior adviser to the President on the economy and will be primarily responsible for producing Biden’s annual budget request.
After Tanden’s nomination fell through, many Democrats on Capitol Hill pushed for Young, whom Biden had nominated as deputy director, to get the top job. In particular, the Congressional Black Caucus rallied behind her, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her entire House Democratic leadership team.
CNN previously reported Biden would be nominating Young and Coloretti for these posts.
Young was the first Black woman to serve as the staff director for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee and has received praise from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress for her work in that role.
In her role as staff director, Young oversaw about $1.4 trillion in annual federal funding for a wide range of programs. She also played a key role in crafting coronavirus relief legislation and other emergency bills related to natural disasters.
Young has also fit well into a close-knit — and in many cases, long-serving — team of advisers to Biden, according multiple officials, leading many to speculate that it was only a matter of time before she was nominated for the top job.
But there was also pressure for the President to nominate an Asian American for the role. Many Asian American leaders are frustrated by the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in Biden’s Cabinet and were pushing for Coloretti to get the top spot at the agency.
“We are thrilled that after months of advocacy, we have a highly qualified team to run OMB. Nani Coloretti will be the highest ranking ever Filipino American in any administration and we are pleased President Biden is living up to his commitment to diversity and talent. We still await the opportunity to see an AAPI in the President’s Cabinet as has been the case since 2000,” Shekar Narasimhan, the founder and chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund, a political action committee that focuses on mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander eligible voters, told CNN.
Coloretti served as deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration and is of Filipino descent. She currently serves as senior vice president for financial and business strategy at the Urban Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC, that conducts economic and social policy research.
Before joining HUD under the Obama administration, Coloretti spent five years at the US Department of Treasury and served as the assistant secretary for management. While at Treasury, she helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and served as its chief operating officer.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Coloretti spent several years as a policy adviser and budget director for then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
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