Transcript: Shalanda Young, White House OMB director, on “Face the Nation,” Dec. 10, 2023
DECEMBER 10, 2023 / 11:53 AM EST / CBS NEWS
The following is a transcript of an interview with Shalanda Young, director of White House Office of Management and Budget, that aired on Dec. 10, 2023.
MARGARET BRENNAN: For the administration’s position on that national security funding package, we turn to the head of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young. Good morning to you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Good to have you here in person.
YOUNG: Thanks for being here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me just start with what we are talking about here. Is the President going to get more directly involved this week? We know his chief of staff has been involved in these border talks. If this is an emergency, does he need to be more hands on?
YOUNG: Look, Congress is having conversations, you heard Senator Lankford’s purview, conversations are happening that need to happen. The one thing I agree with, that the senator said, is it’s time. I sent a letter to Congress outlining the stakes if Ukraine aid is cut off what that means. The one thing I do take issue with is Americans want their national security taken care of. We agree with that. What happens if Putin marches through Ukraine, what’s next? NATO countries, our sons and daughters are at risk of being a part of a larger conflict. And it’s not just Putin, other dictators are watching what Congress is doing.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
YOUNG: What signal does that send? So our national security is also influenced with not providing Ukraine.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, you’re talking past each other because Senator Lankford is saying he also agrees aid for Ukraine needs to pass. It’s this method of being able to get it through Congress that seems to be the problem right now. Can there be a deal on the border? Do you think that would unlock the Ukraine aid?
YOUNG: So I’ve done a lot of funding negotiations over my career in this town. Negotiations that fail is when one side can’t take yes for an answer. They push for too much. They push for an H.R. 2, which as the senator pointed out, all Democrats voted against. The White House had a veto threat. You can’t have everything your way in a negotiation. Democrats and Republicans have to vote for this bill. So I agree, it’s time to cut a deal that both sides can agree to.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So let’s talk about Ukraine. Specifically, you warned in October, and back in September, that funding was running low. You sent a letter Monday to the speaker saying, “we are out of money to support Ukraine in this fight. This isn’t a next year problem.” When precisely were U.S.funding be exhausted?
YOUNG: Look, we have, you know, budgetary standpoint, we have about a billion dollars left to replenish our own stockpile. So this comes down to a policy decision. Do we risk our own U.S. readiness as the world is more complex? We’ve seen it. Or does Congress ensure that we can protect our- our own national security while also being there for our allies like Ukraine? It shouldn’t be an either or, Congress should do what it’s done several other times in a bipartisan manner, fund our own national security, and make sure we are there for our allies. And by the way, Margaret, I think it’s important to know, the majority of money that we talked about for Ukraine stays at home. Our defense industrial base gets the majority of this funding to build more equipment, weapons, ammunition, that means American jobs, good paying American jobs.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. So a deal you’re not completely rolling out here. But, I want to ask you to weigh in on some of the polling that we share with our viewers. The top two issues for American voters are inflation and the border and the President gets large disapproval rates for handling inflation. And Americans think his administration’s actions led to it growing, as you can see, not slowing. Why don’t you think the President’s policies are resonating more?
YOUNG: Look, the President gets it, I get it. I have a 95-year-old grandmother in Clinton, Louisiana. So I get firsthand feedback on what people are feeling at the ground, in the small little towns like I’m from, so I get it. The macro numbers are going as well as anybody could have predicted, right? Inflation coming down, job numbers remaining strong, but people have got to fill it and It’s gonna take time. When the macro economy- we see good numbers that often takes time to trickle through. But we can’t give up. I’m on his economics team and the thing we focus on the most is how do we bring down costs? That’s why you hear us talk about junk fees. What is that? That takes people’s money when we go after banks and hotels, people who charge you an extra $20 or $50-
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, they say supermarket price is 2 percent versus, you know, last year, that-
YOUNG: Yeah, but everything can do- we cannot leave any stone unturned to make sure people are paying less for these out-of-pocket- prescription drugs, there’s a reason the President asked and fought for Congress to cap insulin at $35 a month.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But, we’re not seeing the awareness. We saw that in our polling. We’re not seeing the linkage between what you’re saying the president’s doing and the public’s perception of it.
YOUNG: Yeah. That is right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Is that messaging or is it just that these programs are slow in rolling out, so people aren’t feeling the impact?
YOUNG: I think it is, as you said, you know as inflation comes down, it does take time for that macro effects to be felt on the ground. And I believe as we continue to see that progress on inflation, people will feel it in their pocketbooks as they go to the grocery store that is going to come home and we just have to continue to make progress on a macro level and we are.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for coming–
YOUNG: Thank you so much.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –for talking to us today. We’ll have to leave it there and we’ll be right back.