Sessions, Sanders to Oppose Lew Nomination
2:26 PM, Jan 10, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, says he will oppose Barack Obama's nomination of Jacob Lew for Treasury secretary. " Sessions released a statement Thursday afternoon criticizing Lew's nomination. Here's an excerpt:
Lew, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, has most recently served as Obama's White House chief of staff. If confirmed by the Senate, he will succeed Timothy Geithner at the Treasury Department.
Sessions appeared on CNN shortly after the president's announcement Thursday. Watch the video below:
Host Wolf Blitzer asked the Alabama senator if any of his fellow Republicans would be opposing Lew. "A number of our members have dealt with Mr. Lew in some of the negotiations," Sessions said. "And it has not been pleasant. There is a feeling he is not been a positive force." Sessions did not say whether or not he would filibuster Lew's nomination.
Sessions's fellow Republicans have been less forceful in their assessments of Lew's nomination. Utah senator Orrin Hatch, the ranking member on the Finance Committee, released a statement Thursday saying that "since Mr. Lew participated in numerous budget negotiations with Congress and with four consecutive years of over $1 trillion deficits, the American people deserve to know not only that this nominee is qualified for the job, but also what policies the White House supports to get federal spending under control."
John Cornyn of Texas, the number two Republican in the Senate, also released a statement: "Under Jack Lew’s leadership at the Office of Management and Budget, we saw trillion dollar deficits and no serious attempt to rein in spending. As President Obama's Chief of Staff, we've seen on-going dilatory tactics as the nation stares down one fiscal crisis after another. While Mr. Lew deserves a fair hearing, Texans deserve to hear the President’s plan for cutting spending and balancing our budget.”
But Sessions may have an unlikely ally in opposing Lew: Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and who also sits on the Budget Committee. Sam Stein of the Huffington Post reports that Sanders will not support Lew. Read the full statement from Sanders here.