Sessions Raises Questions Regarding White House Staff Changes

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement today about the selection of current OMB Director Jack Lew to be the new White House chief of staff, and the resulting vacancy at the Office of Management and Budget:

“I wish Jack Lew the best fortune in his new post. However, the president’s decision to elevate Mr. Lew to White House Chief of Staff—after Lew and the White House attempted to mislead the country into believing the president’s budget would not add to the debt—raises continuing concerns about President Obama’s willingness to candidly face the great challenge of our time. This elevation also would appear, for the moment, to leave as his presumptive replacement OMB Deputy Director Heather Higginbottom—a nominee noted for her lack of budget experience. The president must make a wise choice to replace Mr. Lew. And by February 6th the president must submit a budget plan—as required by law—to put this nation on a sound financial course. The nearing budget cycle may be the president’s last chance to get it right and to protect America from what has been correctly called ‘the most predictable economic crisis in its history.’”

[Note: To view Director Lew’s testimony on the president’s debt-doubling budget, please click here. Prior to testifying before the Budget Committee, Lew had described the president’s budget by saying that it “will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.” To view background concerns about Ms. Higginbottom’s nomination, please click here.]