Senators ‘Hold’ Up Business

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The White House does not have a budget director, but it’s not for lack of trying.

Though President Obama nominated Jacob Lew to be director of the Office of Management and Budget in July, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has single-handedly blocked him from taking the job, using a Senate procedure known as a “hold.”


By most accounts, Lew is qualified — he served in the same post from 1998 to 2001 under President Clinton.

But Landrieu has argued that he shows a “lack of sufficient concern” for economic problems in the Gulf Coast, which she represents. And, because of the way the Senate is run, it wouldn’t matter even if she did think he was qualified.

Under Senate rules, any senator can block any of the president’s nominations — or delay a piece of legislation from coming to the floor for debate — for any reason at all.

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