A Senate committee has approved the nomination of Kiran Ahuja—who among other roles was OPM chief of staff for several years during the Obama administration—to become OPM director, setting up a potential vote in the full Senate.
However, the vote in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee fell along party lines, raising a level of doubt as to whether the nomination will be approved by the full Senate, at least on the prompt schedule that had seemed possible after a generally friendly confirmation hearing.
At that hearing, several Republicans did raise issues regarding positions she had taken in the past regarding policies including diversity training. The latter became a point of contention after the Trump administration last year suspended such training pending a review, an order the Biden administration quickly revoked.
The full Senate however has approved Jason Miller, a senior economic advisor under Obama, as deputy director for management at OMB. That is a key role in overseeing personnel and other agency management policies including the Biden administration’s version of the President’s Management Agenda, which has yet to be released.
Shalanda Young, formerly a senior staffer on the House Appropriations Committee, earlier was confirmed for the other OMB deputy director position—deputy for budget—and is now serving as acting OMB director following the withdrawal of the nominee for that position. It remains uncertain whether Young will be nominated to become OMB director or whether someone else will be nominated.