The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved three Biden administration nominees to move to consideration by the full Senate, including the top two officials to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the head of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
The committee voted 10 to 1 to advance the nomination of Dimitri Kusnezov to be under secretary for DHS Science and Technology, with Republican Josh Hawley (Mo.) the lone dissenter.
Kusnezov currently works in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science on creating international partnerships in artificial intelligence, and previously was the department’s deputy under secretary for AI and technology.
Kathryn Coulter Mitchell is the current acting under secretary for S&T at DHS.
The committee also advanced the nominations of Shalanda Young and Nani Coloretti to be director and deputy director, respectively, of OMB on 8 to 3 votes. Young is currently the acting director of the budget agency and Coloretti, a former deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, is the head of financial and business strategy at the Urban Institute.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), ranking member on the committee, who voted in favor of Young, said she has been “helpful” in reaching out to him and other senators as the acting director of OMB. However, he said won’t vote for Young on the Senate floor unless OMB and the White House provide responses to the committee’s requests for documents related to an investigation into the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for two national security documents from OMB and the White House National Security Council.
“We’ve gone nearly a year now without getting an accurate response and I think it’s troubling, I think it reflects a White House that’s not being responsive to legitimate congressional requests for transparency,” Portman said.
Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said he is also frustrated about not receiving the documents, saying “that’s simply unacceptable.”