Portman at HSGAC Hearing: OMB Must Work with Congress to Address Challenges Facing America

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, delivered opening remarks at a hearing to consider the nominations of Shalanda Young to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Nani Coloretti to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He highlighted the importance of OMB and the need for the agency to work with Congress to address the issues that currently face America, including the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border, the health care crisis, and the opioid epidemic that has devastated lives in Ohio and across the country. 

A transcript of the opening remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it. And to Ms. Young, to have the Senate President Pro Tempore and Appropriations Chair, Senator Leahy, introduce you was a good move, high stature. And then Senator Sinema’s comments, of course, I respect greatly because we did work closely together on the infrastructure legislation, and we do appreciate the work you did sometimes to knock heads and be sure that federal agencies worked with us to come up with better policies, including on permitting reform. And I appreciate both of you for your willingness to serve and these are critical roles. 

“As a former OMB Director, I have a particular soft spot for OMB and its importance, not just within the federal government, but in terms of its external role as well. I think it’s really important that the OMB Director and Deputy Director have the ability to work with members of Congress. It’s so tightly connected to the congressional appropriations process and authorizing committees like ours. In fact, none more important than the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It’s also important that you have an understanding and appreciation of a multiple range of issues because OMB gets involved in every single policy issue and obviously plays a huge role in the regulatory environment and through OIRA, plays a huge role in, again, working with Congress on regulations. So this is an important one. We want to have a thorough vetting today and be sure that we’re getting into all the issues. 

“It’s also a really important time for us to come together as a country. We’ve got plenty of crises facing us, what’s going on at the border. We just heard about some immigration challenges this morning at an earlier hearing. But with regard to COVID, you know everything, including the raging inflation we’re now facing to obviously the health care crisis, it creates my concerns about what it’s doing in terms of the opioid crisis, which is worse than ever, in terms of overdose deaths, mental health challenges. So there’s lots of issues right now where OMB is going to play a critical role. On the CR deadline, which is looming just a few weeks from now, again, OMB is going to play a key role in the administration to figure out how we move forward with Senator Leahy and Senator Shelby and others. I hope that we can get beyond these CRs and get into actual appropriations. We’ll talk about that today, I’m sure. 

“Ms.Young, you and I got to know each other. I appreciate the conversations we’ve had over the course of the last year since you last appeared before this Committee. As the Deputy Director and Acting Director simultaneously, you’ve had plenty on your plate. Ms. Coloretti, I look forward to talking with you today regarding your qualifications for the Deputy Director slot. I’m interested to hear how your time as Deputy Secretary of HUD and Assistant Secretary for Management at Treasury have prepared you to tackle some of these challenges that we talked about a minute ago that OMB faces. So Mr. Chairman, I’m hopeful that we can work together to address many of these challenges to get this inflation under control, get folks safely back to work, back to school. 

“If confirmed, the two of you would play an important part of that effort so Ms. Young and Ms. Coloretti, I look forward to hearing your thoughts today and the critical role that OMB is going to play. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”