Republican senators uneasy with Obama’s nominee for OMB deputy director

Republicans on the Hill are taking President Obama’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a sign the White House is not serious about cutting spending.

Heather Higginbottom, a longtime policy advisor to Democratic politicians, was nominated by the president on January 7 to replace acting Deputy Director Rob Nabors.

“I believe it is pretty clear from the opposition that she is seen as a political operative and that members see this as a sign that President Obama has no interest in having a serious discussion about reducing spending,” one Republican staffer told The Daily Caller.

Higginbottom’s previously served as deputy director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, where, according to a White House press release, she “played an integral role on issues ranging from education to poverty to food safety.”

Before that, she worked on Obama’s presidential campaign as policy director, and spent eight years on Capitol Hill with Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, where she rose to the role of legislative director.

But Higginbottom’s background has not convinced some lawmakers that she has enough experience for such a senior level position at the OMB.

On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, released a statement highlighting Higginbottom’s lack of “relevant” experience and calling it a “major hurdle at this point.”

“President Obama has nominated Ms. Higginbottom for a critical position at a critical agency at a critical time,” said Sessions. “Yet she has a remarkable absence of relevant experience. Instead, her experience is political – such as her work on the Obama presidential campaign.”

Sessions went on to say he has “growing concerns about the lack of candor from the White House when it comes to our nation’s fiscal challenges.”

Even Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is considered one of the more liberal Republicans in the Senate, expressed concern over Higginbottom’s nomination.

“The nominee’s background, while impressive in many respects, does not include a great deal of experience in the budget process or financial analysis which is so important given the fiscal challenges we face,” said Collins.

“I am deeply concerned about the Administration’s lack of leadership on these challenges,” the senator added.

According to the aforementioned Republican staffer, Higginbottom’s partisan background is not a significant factor for conservative lawmakers. As is usual with presidential nominations, the Senate is generally inclined to let the president have his pick for such positions.

“Most members were inclined to do that a week or so ago, until her lack of experience started being highlighted,” the staffer told TheDC.  “If she were a political operative with substantive budget experience, she would probably be easily confirmed.”

In a Senate Budget Committee hearing Thursday afternoon on Higginbottom’s nomination, Sessions signaled it would not be an easy confirmation process.

“I cannot support a nominee to this position who cannot discuss this budget with clarity and candor,” he said. “There can be no debating the president’s budget does not live within our means.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bville-Doc/100000215663799 Bville Doc

    The king of cronyism has a name . . . B. Hussein Obama. Good God. This should be an embarrassment and, yet, the left, I’m sure, is proud that Barry’s minions have allowed a young woman to rise to a station in life that if she were to have to rely on competence and experience she would have never reached. Who says America isn’t the land of opportunity?

  • borntoraisehogs

    Token white twat, as Bill Maher would say.

  • kingfish

    This woman’s ignorance as on FULL DISPLAY yesterday when being questioned by Senator Sessions. Her figures for the deficit were $2.3 trillion off. She talks very fast, but not fast enough to get by the senator. NOT that he nor the entire Senate are doing anything ABOUT it. How she was appointed to this post when there are clearly hundreds of thousands of Americans more qualified (AND HONEST) is more proof of Obama’s incompetence….his picks for government jobs can’t even “put on a good show”.

  • flynavy

    Is it just me – Ms. Higgenbottom appears to be 25 years old! I’m sure she’s an educated person…but…how about hiring someone with a bit of experience?

  • ldrider51

    Another political hack for a position of substance in this administration. Of course Obama has absolutely no real desire to work on budget cuts. He’s a democrat, big spender, big borrower.

  • jiminga

    At least Obama’s trying to change the liberal portrait gallery by nominating an attractive woman.

    Joking aside, this is just another example of Obummer going for a sycophant instead of a qualified person….she will fit in well with his other appointees, all yes men/women to his liberal dogma. He appears to have re-established the Know Nothing Party.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Quinney/1619139154 Michael Quinney

      Attractive??? You either need to get your eyes checked or get out more often.

      • SargeH

        jiminga obviously didn’t view the tape. The picture posted with the story is a very old picture. In the tape she looks like an alien from bizarro world. Of course, that isn’t the problem. She admittedly has no experience with budgets and couldn’t answer Sessions’ questions. She merely parroted the OMB memo and got completely lost in the questioning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Quinney/1619139154 Michael Quinney

    Wow! Another Obozo sycophant not qualified for anything other than ass kissing to be appointed to a position she has no idea how to do. We should just rename the Obozo Administration the Job Corp, since everyone is on OJT, and just about as useless as tits on a bull.

  • dirtytricksjusttowin


    At least Obama’s trying to change the liberal portrait gallery by nominating an attractive woman.


    Attractive what? Who?

  • mtiki

    Ya think???

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