I know that I was in full cape mode for all of President Joe Biden’s picks when I learned that Republicans were being extra hard on those of color. Then I learned about Shalanda Young, and sadly it has made Neera Tanden’s bid as the director of the Office of Management and Budget expendable for me.
I know that’s fucked up but in the words of African griot Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody Black.”
The whole situation is a mess. Biden nominated Tanden and then the Republican Party of fucked up tweets decided to comb through her social media and take offense to some messages Tanden sent way back when. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who is basically a Republican wearing a Tyler Perry wig, started all of this. Because he is drunk with power in a buttoned-up Senate that draws straight down party lines, the asshole Manchin created all of this by noting that he wouldn’t confirm Tanden, and Republicans just hopped on board. The phony moral party that only seems to get a sense of morality when their person’s not doing it have said that they aren’t going to confirm Tanden and there has been a growing swell for Young, who appears to be loved by all.
House Democratic leaders are reportedly mounting a campaign to replace Tanden with longtime congressional aide Shalanda Young. Young is currently nominated to be the deputy OMB director, and the left wing of the Democratic Party is hoping the White House will try to elevate her to the lead role.
The Biden administration has made promises to diversify the Cabinet, and the nomination of Tanden meant she would have been the first woman of color to head the agency. However, as a confirmation now seems unlikely given the opposition from Senators Joe Manchin and Susan Collins, Young, a Black woman, could give Biden a second chance to fulfill his commitment with a historic first appointment to the OMB.
Young has already broken ground as the first Black woman to serve as the staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. Her key role in recent budget negotiations required her to work alongside Republican lawmakers, most notably Senator Richard Shelby, who said he would back her nomination if Tanden’s fails.
“I believe she would be good in that role,” Shelby said in a Wednesday statement. “She’s smart, she knows the process inside out, and she’s an honest broker who has demonstrated the ability to work with both sides and get things done.”
He added, “She would have my support, and I suspect many of my Republican colleagues would support her as well. But that’s up to the Biden administration.”
But here is the question that no one can answer: If Young is so beloved on both sides of the aisle then why wasn’t she the pick in the beginning? Why is she the go-to pick after the first one didn’t work? I know that I shouldn’t be kicking up dust but I’m just saying.
Also—and this is important—progressives like Young, and really aren’t a fan of Tanden after one of her tweets bashed progressive leader and king Bernie Sanders’ push for a $15 minimum wage.
“I don’t think [Biden] is going to pick somebody who is a centrist,” University of Virginia political science professor David Leblang told Newsweek. “What’s interesting is that the current nominee was criticized by the left because they saw her as being too close to Wall Street. I think he’s got to pick somebody who is going to make Wall Street breathe a sigh of relief but also speak to the distributional concern that the left has.”
And, because it’s not just me rooting for everybody Black, the Congressional Black Caucus is ready to cape for Young if Tanden isn’t confirmed.
Did I mention that heavy hitters like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn already supported Young before the White House nominated Tanden?
And here is the best part: Young doesn’t fuck with social media so Republicans won’t have that to use against her.
But the White House seems committed to pushing Tanden across the finish line even though she’s clearly not the person for the position. Look at me hating.
“Neera Tanden, accomplished policy expert, would be 1st Asian American woman to lead OMB, has lived experience having benefited from a number of federal programs as a kid, looking ahead to the committee votes this week and continuing to work toward her confirmation,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Monday.
Asked by reporters last week if Biden would pull the nomination, Psaki said, “I think we are going to find the votes and get her confirmed,” Newsweek reports.
I probably shouldn’t be this mean as I’m sure Tanden would be fine doing Young’s job.