Landrieu releases hold, allows Lew nomination to sail through

Several meetings with Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar helped smooth Lew's confirmation, which had been held up since September. 

“Tonight, I received a commitment from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to provide certainty and regulatory clarity to an industry that has operated in the dark for months with shifting rules," Landrieu said in a statement after the vote. "The Secretary will come to Louisiana on Monday to meet with industry and express the Administration’s support for the oil and gas industry. He will outline the path forward so that permits will be issued and the people of Louisiana can get back to work in this vital industry. Given this commitment, I released my hold, so that Jack Lew can get to work balancing the federal budget and putting this country back on a path of fiscal discipline.”

Landrieu said Salazar is expected to issue several drilling permits in the coming weeks, and he is making a trip Monday to the Gulf to reiterate his "commitment to the future of the Gulf." 

Lew's nomination was blocked in September when Landrieu protested the administration's six-month halt on drilling permits.

The hold on Lew was designed to "get their attention, and I think it did," she said. 

Lew, who will replace Peter Orszag, held the same job in the Clinton administration, helping to balance the federal budget in the late 1990s.