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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Senate confirms Jack Lew as OMB director

By Ed O'Keefe

Newly minted Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob J. Lew (Photo by Jay Malin)

Eye Opener

Jacob J. Lew won confirmation Thursday as head of the Office of Management and Budget all because Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to visit the Gulf Coast region on Monday.

Senators confirmed Lew by voice vote Thursday night after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) lifted her hold on his selection over objections to the Obama administration's oil drilling moratorium.

She reversed course after months of objections after Salazar assured her he will visit the region on Monday and plans to issue new oil drilling permits.

President Obama said Lew, "brings unparalleled experience and wisdom to this important job at a critical time in our nation's history."

"We need to make the tough choices to put our country back on a sustainable fiscal path and lay the foundation for long-term job creation and economic growth," Obama said. "We need to cut waste where we find it and create a government that is efficient, effective, and responsive to the American people. I am confident Jack Lew can lead us in these efforts, and look forward to working with him in the days ahead."

With Lew taking the reins of OMB Friday, he has about two months to put the finishing touches on Obama's proposed fiscal 2012 budget. Most of the budget work has been handled in recent weeks by acting deputy director Rob Nabors, according to aides.

But Lew is no stranger to OMB: He held the same job during the later years of Bill Clinton's presidency.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | November 19, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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