Obama budget nominee receives praise from Senate GOP at hearing

Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellPrice was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill ObamaCare enrollment hits 11.5M for 2017 MORE, President Obama’s nominee to be his next budget director, faced little resistance from Senate Republicans during the first of her two confirmation hearings Tuesday.

The GOP has been lambasting Obama this week as he delivers a budget on Wednesday that will not balance, two months late. But Republicans on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee signaled that the nominee, a former Clinton administration official and head of the Wal-Mart Foundation, likely faces an easy confirmation.

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“There is no question that you are highly qualified,” ranking member Sen. Tom CoburnTom Coburn-trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Al Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit MORE (R-Okla.) said.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.), who has made wasteful spending a signature issue, praised Burwell as an “incredibly well-qualified nominee.”

“There must be some character flaw that she wants the job,” he quipped. “This is an excellent choice.”

“I believe you will be the next budget director,” added Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (R-Ohio).

Burwell could face tougher grilling at the Senate Budget Committee, where Republicans are led by the fiery Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE (R-Ala.), on Wednesday, but as it stands, she appears to have the 60 votes needed to overcome any potential filibuster on the floor.

How long the honeymoon lasts remains to be seen.

Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewBipartisan bill would force Treasury to put Tubman on bill Top conservative rails against ‘clean’ debt limit increase Trump mocked Obama for three chiefs of staff in three years MORE, now the secretary of the treasury, was praised when he became Obama’s budget director based on his history of balancing budgets in the Clinton administration.

By the end of his tenure at the budget office, Lew was on the receiving end of harsh rhetoric by Republicans who built their 2012 campaigns on the idea that Obama is fiscally irresponsible.

Burwell, who was a deputy budget director for Clinton, said she hopes to build a solid dialogue with the GOP based on the quiet meetings she has already had.

“There is no question the road will be difficult … I am confident we can come together on a comprehensive plan,” she said.