Biden noted that the Senate has already confirmed both women to other federal posts “with strong bipartisan support.”
The decision, first reported by The Washington Post, follows months of pressure from congressional leaders, who have been rooting for Young to be elevated from her current role as acting director following Biden’s withdrawal of Neera Tanden’s nomination to the top post in March. As a longtime aide for the House Appropriations Committee, Young has earned the respect of lawmakers in both parties — a rapport that will be tested as the White House tries to broker a deal to fund the government amid a cross-party standoff.
Coloretti is currently a senior vice president at the Urban Institute and previously served in the Obama administration, including three years as deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The Senate confirmed her for that position at the time in a 68-28 vote.
Several Republican senators have said they would support Young’s nomination to lead the White House budget office, likely making for a speedy confirmation to head an agency at the core of executing Biden’s economic agenda and policy plans.
Even when lawmakers were vetting Young for the deputy director job earlier this year, senators were hinting that they preferred her for the top OMB post over Tanden, whose nomination was pulled after lawmakers took issue with the tone of her messages on social media. “You’ll get my support, maybe for both jobs,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Young during her confirmation hearing in March.
Young has extensive knowledge of the federal budget and spending process from her 14 years of work on the House Appropriations committee. In recent weeks, she has been ratcheting up pressure on Congress to negotiate on annual spending bills, with federal cash set to dry up on Dec. 3. Republicans are weighing support for a yearlong continuing resolution to stick Democrats with Trump-era funding levels, which Young has warned will hamper public health efforts and hurt military readiness, among other things.
If confirmed, Young is also expected in her new position to play a key role in implementing Biden’s economic agenda, including the social spending bill Democrats are trying to enact.
The job of the White House budget director is likely to be even more difficult if Republicans take back the House or Senate in next year’s midterm elections, since high-stakes fiscal standoffs between congressional leaders and the president are the norm in a divided government.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats first endorsed Young for OMB director in March. And a number of Democrats have continued to puzzle over why the White House did not nominate her sooner.
“We have worked closely with her for several years and highly recommend her for her intellect, her deep expertise on the federal budget and her determination to ensure that our budget reflects our values as a nation,” Pelosi wrote in a statement with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) earlier this year.
“Her legislative prowess, extensive knowledge of federal agencies, incisive strategic mind and proven track record will be a tremendous asset to the Biden-Harris Administration,” they wrote in March.
Jennifer Scholtes contributed to this report.