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Sen. Landrieu Will Block OMB Appointment Until Drilling Moratorium is Lifted

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) just announced that she will block the nomination of Jack Lew to be the Obama Administration’s new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director “until the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling is lifted or significantly modified.” Her office points out that the Obama administration itself admits as many as 12,000 workers have been laid off as a result of the ban and it argues that that number could be as high as 46,000.

The connection between Mr. Lew’s appointment to the OMB and the Obama Administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium is tenuous, at best, but Sen. Landrieu makes a stab at drawing one in her letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

Although Mr. Lew clearly possesses the expertise necessary to serve as one of the President’s most important economic advisors, 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.

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