Budget committee approves OMB nominee, but senator blocks confirmation

The Senate Budget Committee on Thursday approved President Obama's choice to run the Office of Management and Budget, but one senator then stepped in to block the nomination.

The panel approved Jack Lew to serve as head of OMB on a vote of 22 to 1. The lone holdout was Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who expressed concern about Lew's policy opinions on trade, Wall Street deregulation and Social Security.

But later Thursday, Lew's nomination encountered another hurdle when Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., announced she would block it until the Obama administration lifts its moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling.

"Although Mr. Lew clearly possesses the expertise necessary to serve as one of the president's most important economic advisors," Landrieu wrote in a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., "I found that he lacked sufficient concern for the host of economic challenges confronting the Gulf Coast. The fact that the most acute of these economic challenges, the moratorium, results from a direct (and reversible) federal action only serves to harden my stance on Mr. Lew's nomination. I cannot support further action on Mr. Lew's nomination to be a key economic advisor to the president until I am convinced that the president and his administration understand the detrimental impacts that the actual and de facto moratoria continue to have on the Gulf Coast."

The nomination of Lew, who led OMB during the Clinton administration from 1998 to 2001, now faces an uncertain future. Sanders' no vote aleady had complicated the process, making it unlikely that Democrats would win unanimous consent for the nominee, requiring a time-consuming roll call vote.

Earlier in the week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which also must approve OMB nominations, unanimously approved Lew.

If confirmed, Lew said he would conduct an exhaustive review of every federal agency to trim waste and inefficiencies. He noted good management is paramount, especially in tough economic times, and pledged to build consensus among Democrats and Republicans.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.