The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing today on the nomination of Shalanda Young to serve as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in which Young voiced her commitment to ensuring investments to the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF).

“We’ve got to upgrade our IT systems within the Federal government,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said during the hearing. “Now, literally, we could not even put in place economic stabilizers in a rational way because our IT system is so bad. We have dramatically underinvested, not just under Trump but candidly, even under President Obama.”

Sen. Warner brought attention to TMF and President Biden’s proposed $9 billion increase to TMF funding, which ultimately was shrunk to $1 billion in a Senate draft of the reconciliation bill and cut from the House bill entirely. Warner asked Young to speak about her thoughts on updating modern technology assets at the Federal government level.

“It’s central to many issues we have with payments to individuals with ensuring our financial audits. A lot of it comes back down to technology and you certainly have my commitment to work with you on, I’m very familiar with the TMF, making sure we get investments there,” Young said.

Additionally, Young pledged her commitment to updating legacy systems and ensuring agencies have the resources to produce complete and reliable financial data.

When it comes down to resources and choosing where to spend money, Young said a new IT system “tends to not be the jazziest thing that it can be sold in the halls of Congress.” If confirmed, Young pledged her commitment to working on this issue saying, “the least we owe the American people is to ensure that we can show that these agencies have clean financial audits.”

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Currently, Young serves as staff director and clerk for the House Appropriations Committee and has over 14 years of combined experience in various roles with the committee.

Young’s nomination has gained increased importance as the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead OMB as its director is on a rocky path to confirmation.

Tanden, who has faced criticism of prior tweets targeting members of Congress, is struggling to secure enough support on either side of the aisle to clear a Senate-wide confirmation vote. If Tanden fails to secure enough support for confirmation, Young is a top contender to take her spot as the nominee to head OMB.

During her hearing, Young had the opportunity to comment on the controversy surrounding Tanden’s nomination and said, “I certainly think before this committee you saw Neera Tanden apologize profusely about the tweets. I think what you also saw is an expansive knowledge of various policy areas.”

“I’ve gotten to know Neera over the last few weeks, we didn’t have much interaction before then, and I do think we both bring some skill sets in different areas where we’d make a great team if both of us were confirmed,” Young said.

The Senate Budget Committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee postponed their votes on Tanden’s confirmation following the controversy and opposition to her nomination.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.