OMB, special counsel nominees approved in committee

Heather Higginbottom would serve in the No. 2 role at the Office of Management and Budget.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved the nominations of two key administration positions.

On Wednesday, the committee agreed by a 6-4 vote to move the nomination of Heather Higginbottom to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Higginbottom received the support of the committee's chairman, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., along with all of the panel's Democratic members. But, none of the committee's Republican members voted in favor, with some citing Higginbottom's lack of experience in budget processes.

"Heather Higginbottom is a very capable person who, if confirmed, will assume one of the nation's most challenging jobs at this moment in our governance and economic history," Lieberman said.

The committee also approved by unanimous voice vote the nomination of Carolyn Lerner to lead the Office of Special Counsel, a position which has been vacant for almost three years.

Both nominees now will move to the full Senate for confirmation.