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Jacob Lew Confirmed as Budget Director After Mary Landrieu Drops 'Hold'

3 years ago
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Nothing much comes easy for this White House. Four months after Jacob Lew was nominated -- amid predictions that he would be quickly confirmed -- the Senate finally gave him the go-ahead Thursday as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

His confirmation had been stalled, in part, due to a "hold" on it by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who was protesting something that had nothing to do with Lew -- the Obama administration's moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium was lifted on Oct. 13, so Landrieu did not object when Lew's nomination sailed through on a voice vote, the AP reported. She said she was satisfied that progress has been made in resuming some drilling operations.

Budget Director Jacob "Jack" Lew, who left a job as a top deputy to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is in his second tour of duty at OMB, the White House arm that prepares annual budgets and recommends management efficiencies. But Lew faces a far different fiscal landscape than he did under President Clinton in the late 1990s. He left that position with the federal government enjoying a $237 billion surplus. The Obama administration is staring at a $1.3 trillion deficit this year.

Lew succeeds Peter Orszag at the budget post.

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