President Joe Biden's nominee for deputy budget director, Shalanda Young, believes that abortion is "a matter of economic and racial justice."
News of Young's position on abortion was made public after her nomination was advanced out of the Senate Budget Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee down party lines last week.
What are the details?
Despite having earned general bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, 15 of the 18 Republicans who sit on both committees ultimately voted against advancing Young's nomination.
According to the New York Post, the Republican senators who voted against Young cited her perspective toward the Hyde Amendment, the law that prohibits federal tax dollars from funding abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Young told senators that eliminating the Hyde Amendment is necessary to promote "racial justice."
"The President has spoken in favor of Congress ending the Hyde Amendment as part of his commitment to providing comprehensive health care for all women," she said, the Post reported.
"Further, eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color," Young added.
What did lawmakers say?
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R) said he initially supported Young's nomination. But that changed after he became aware of her perspective of the Hyde Amendment.
"I had planned to support Ms. Young based on her testimony before the committee," Portman said, Roll Call reported. "In reviewing her answers to the committee's questions for the record, though, I've got to say I was really troubled by her responses, particularly her strong advocacy for eliminating the Hyde amendment."
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, voted to advance Young's nomination, but sought reassurances that she would not support regulation that "changes Hyde or chips away at it."
Senate Homeland Security Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.), however, voiced concern over sudden opposition by Republicans, and called Young's perspective "fact."
"In her written responses, Ms. Young stated that ending the Hyde amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because its impact is felt most among low-income women of color. This is simply a statement of fact," Peters said, Roll Call reported. "But she also confirmed that she will follow current law, which includes the Hyde amendment. So I have a hard time following the objections of my Republican colleagues."
Young's position on important issues like abortion found new prominence after reports indicated that top Democrats want Biden to nominate Young as director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
Biden's previous nominee for the job, Teera Nanden, withdrew her nomination amid bipartisan scrutiny.