Sessions Expresses Concern Over Obama Nominee For Key Budget Post, Lack Of Candor From White House

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s hearing to consider Heather Higginbottom’s nomination to be Deputy Director for the Office of Management and Budget. Over the past 20 years, other appointees for this position have had an average of seven years of budget or finance experience, but Ms. Higginbottom has admitted that she has not had any such formal training or experience.

“President Obama has nominated Ms. Higginbottom for a critical position at a critical agency at a critical time. Yet she has a remarkable absence of relevant experience. Instead, her experience is political—such as her work on the Obama presidential campaign.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said that our debt is the greatest threat to our national security. My fear is that Ms. Higgonbottom’s nomination may be akin to appointing a wartime general who has never had a day of military service.

This hearing also occurs at a time when I have growing concerns about the lack of candor from this White House when it comes to our nation’s fiscal challenges. Both the president and his budget director, Jack Lew, have claimed that the president’s budget allows us to live within our means, spend only what we take in, and begin paying down the debt. Not one of these claims is true. And yet the White House has persisted in its irresponsible presentation. Just yesterday we received stunning written testimony from Mr. Lew standing by every word of what he said.

If we are to confront our growing budget crisis we need fact-based budgeting, not fantasy budgeting.

Ms. Higginbottom will receive a fair and thorough hearing tomorrow, and I hope that she will demonstrate the professional qualities that our current challenges demand.”

Note: To view excerpts from OMB Director Lew’s submitted responses to questions for the record, please click here.