Senate committee approves OMB, OSC nominees

Wednesday - 3/16/2011, 7:49pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today approved the nomination of Heather Higginbottom to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Higginbottom's approval was far from smooth as six of 10 Senators voted for her.

On the other hand, Carolyn Lerner's nomination to lead the Office of Special Counsel received unanimous approval from the committee.

Both Higginbottom and Lerner's nominations move to the full Senate for a vote.

"Heather Higginbottom is a very capable person who, if confirmed, will assume one of the nation's most challenging jobs at this moment in our governance and economic history," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the committee's chairman. "I believe she is well qualified for the position. Ms. Higginbottom will be called upon to work closely with the director and a politically-divided Congress to tackle the debt, existing spending commitments, and an impending showdown over the debt ceiling."

Higginbottom () testified before the committee March 8.

Some committee members said they didn't think Higginbottom had the experience to be deputy director of OMB.

"The nominee's background, while impressive in many respects, does not include a great deal of experience in budget process or financial analysis," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Lerner testified on March 10. She received broad support from the committee.

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