“The Office of Management and Budget should be one of the least political departments of government. But the President has made it into one of the most political… What we need in this position is someone who will demonstrate political independence and finally tell the American people the bitter truth about how badly their finances are being handled.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s nomination of Shaun Donovan, currently Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to head the Office of Management and Budget:
“Secretary Donovan has been nominated to oversee our massive federal budget during a time of grave financial danger. This is an extraordinary responsibility. Only weeks ago, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office reaffirmed in testimony before Congress that we are on an ‘unsustainable path’ and face the ‘risk of a fiscal crisis.’
Whoever holds this job ought to be one of the toughest, strongest, most disciplined managers we have in the country. Is Shaun Donovan that man? It would appear Secretary Donovan has no relevant budgetary or economic experience. Indeed, it seems he has more experience spending money than saving it. I fear once again the President may have chosen someone whom he thought would be politically loyal, rather than a wise and frugal manager of the taxpayer dollar.
The Office of Management and Budget should be one of the least political departments of government. But the President has made it into one of the most political. OMB has consistently refused to meet its most basic obligations. His predecessors refused to abide by the legal requirement to submit Medicare improvement legislation after the Trustees issued their warnings about its financial challenges. And they submitted budget plans that violated the in-law spending limits, while acting as though they did not. For the White House, these budget presentations have been an exercise not in illuminating our financial condition but in hoping to conceal it. What we need in this position is someone who will demonstrate political independence and finally tell the American people the bitter truth about how badly their finances are being handled.
Our hearing with Secretary Donovan will be an opportunity to shed light on the fiscal dangers facing our country. I will urge him to act not as a political loyalist, but as sound steward of the taxpayers’ dollars.”