Durbin hints at possible recess appointment for budget nominee Lew

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he is "anxious to take care of" a hold placed on the nomination of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) nominee Jacob Lew by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

"Of course Jack Lew could be appointed over a recess basis, but I'd much rather see him win the confirmation in the Senate," Durbin said Tuesday.


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"We've got to fill that spot," Durbin said, noting budget deliberations and the release of the findings of the White House fiscal commission, expected in December. "Time is of the essence."

Asked whether he would recommend that Obama use a recess appointment if necessary, Durbin said, "I am more optimistic that Sen. Landrieu will be able to move our way; we're working on it."

Recess appointments typically last about a year before the Senate would need to approve the nomination.

Landrieu announced last week that she was putting a procedural hold on Lew’s nomination to head OMB until the Obama administration agrees to lift or alter the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling. She also wants an acceleration of permits for shallow-water projects that have slowed in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Landrieu told reporters Tuesday she’s getting pressure from the White House, and that there has been "slight progress," but that she isn't ready to alter her stance yet.


This post was updated at 2:43 p.m.

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