Hold on OPM nominee likely short lived

Friday - 8/2/2013, 2:27pm EDT

The hold on Katherine Archuleta to be the new director of the Office of Personnel Management may be a short one.

At issue are regulations OPM and the administration are developing to implement how the Affordable Care Act would apply to lawmakers and their staffs on Oct. 1. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said earlier this week he would put a hold on Archuleta's nomination because the administration hadn't issued the final rule.

A White House official said today the final rule would be issued next week and will make it clear that these employees will enroll in health care exchange plans, will not qualify for premium tax credits, and, like private sector employees, will not lose their employer contributions for these health plans.

Politico first reported the updated status of the impending regulations.

A Coburn spokesman said the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee would not comment until the final regulations were out.

The White House official said members of both parties requested OPM develop regulations to implement the law.

"The administration is focused on making this law work right," the official said.

The Senate approved several other nominees last night, including Census Director John Thompson, who the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved Wednesday along with Archuleta.

Along with Thompson, the Senate confirmed:

  • Davita Vance-Cooks as the public printer at the Government Printing Office.
  • Ellen Herbst as the Commerce Department's assistant secretary for administration and CFO.

  • Jason Furman as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

  • John Berry, former OPM director, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Australia.

  • Krysta Harden as the deputy secretary of Agriculture.

  • Susan Rabern as the assistant secretary and the comptroller of the Navy.

  • Dennis McGinn as the assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment.

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