U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu said yesterday that Jack Lew, Barack Obama’s nominee to become the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, “clearly possesses the expertise necessary to serve as one of the President’s most important economic advisers”. Yet, she also declared that she would block Lew’s nomination from being considered by the United States Senate, keeping a crucial economic post in government empty during a time of severe economic crisis.
Senator Landrieu is upset that, just weeks after the largest offshore drilling oil spill in United States history, the government is going through a thorough safety review before allowing the expansion of offshore drilling to continue at a rapid pace. Landrieu believes that Jack Lew does not sufficiently meet her ideological threshold for support of the oil industry’s demands for lax regulation of offshore drilling. She is hoping to force President Obama to authorize offshore drilling up and down America’s coastlines, even in conditions similar to the ones in which the fatal Deepwater Horizon disaster took place.
Senator landrieu is not merely holding Jack Lew’s nomination hostage. She is holding the American economy hostage as well.