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Lew Confirmed to Head OMB after Months of Senate Stall

Jack Lew, omb.gov

After months of Senate stall tactics, Jacob “Jack” Lew was confirmed Thursday night by a voice vote to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Lew, who previously served as OMB director in the Clinton administration and is now deputy secretary of state, was selected by President Barack Obama after Peter Orszag stepped down in July.

But Lew’s nomination had been stalled since at least September, when Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) placed a hold on his nomination to protest the administration’s moratorium on deep-water Gulf of Mexico oil drilling after the BP oil spill.

Landrieu dropped her hold on Thursday after discussions with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Government Executive reports.

Lew starts in his post today, The Washington Post reports. And, already, he has some tough work ahead of him, including putting “the finishing touches on the Obama’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget,” The Post reports.

When Lew’s nomination was first announced, ExecutiveGov noted the political calculations that went into the pick:

“The fact that Obama is replacing one the chief architect and advocate of the stimulus plan [Orszag] with a Clinton appointee who presided over the first federal surpluses since 1969 means that the White House has sensed a shift in the political winds and is positioning itself to make a dent in ballooning federal deficits.”

Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients had been serving as acting director of OMB since July.

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