Sanders Opposes Lew to Head OMB

Posted September 22, 2010 at 5:31pm

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his opposition Wednesday to Jacob Lew’s nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget, becoming the first Member to do so.

“I found too many echoes of the failed policies of the past in his responses to my questions on trade policy, Social Security, deregulation of banks and other issues,” the Vermont Independent said in a statement.

Sanders issued his statement one day before the Budget Committee, of which he is a member, is slated to vote on Lew’s nomination. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved Lew’s nomination Tuesday. Peter Orszag stepped down as OMB director in July.

Members have heaped praise on Lew, who is the deputy secretary of State for management and resources and served as OMB director under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001. His nomination is expected to clear the chamber when it comes to a vote, despite Sanders’ defection.

“It is my strong belief that President Obama needs an OMB Director who is willing to stand up to corporate America and the wealthy, say enough is enough, and fight for policies that protect the working class in this country,” Sanders said. “Unfortunately, I do not believe Mr. Lew is the right man at this time for this important job.”

Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has at times rebuked President Barack Obama’s administration for not doing enough to boost the middle class. He cited similar complaints in January when he led an effort to prevent Ben Bernanke from winning a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Bernanke was ultimately confirmed to the post by a 70-30 Senate vote.