The economy of the United States is in terrible shape, and in these times, we need strong economic leadership hard at work in the White House. We need a Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. It’s the OMB, after all that shapes the federal budget and manages government resources in a range of areas from education to transportation alone. The Director of the OMB thus has tremendous power to help get the American economy back on its feet again.
Senator Mary Landrieu has observed that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget is “one of the President’s most important economic advisors”. In spite of that, on Friday, Landrieu announced she will block the confirmation of Jack Lew as the new Director of the OMB.
Why would Senator Landrieu disable the White House from taking action in the middle of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression? It isn’t because Jack Lew lacks the required qualifications. Landrieu has written that “Mr. Lew clearly possesses the expertise necessary to serve.”
It’s not because Jack Lew is a partisan political choice. Lew has strong support not just from Senate Democrats, but from Republicans as well.
It’s because Mary Landrieu wants more offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and up and down the Pacific coasts of the United States, and she wants it NOW! Senator Landrieu comes from Louisiana, where politics is dominated by the oil industry, and she knows which side of her bread the butter goes on. So, Landrieu is furious that the Obama Administration is slowing down the expansion of offshore drilling while it conducts a safety review of the BP oil spill disaster this year took place. She wants more drilling done before it’s clear how to make drilling more safe – in spite of the 11 offshore oil rig workers who were killed in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.
Senator Landrieu prefers to continue a reckless policy when it comes to offshore drilling, but her cavalier attitude about America’s resources doesn’t end there. For the sake of a power elite back in Louisiana, Landrieu is eager to cripple the ability of the Obama Administration to do what’s necessary to bring the national economy back to life. She wants drill baby drill, the consequences be damned.