Liberals air doubts over OMB pick

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Liberal Democrats are skeptical about President Obama’s decision to appoint a senior official from the Clinton administration to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

They suspect Jacob “Jack” Lew may share an affection for market-driven reforms they say were too popular among Clinton’s staff and that he would support cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

“I’m concerned he doesn’t have an affinity for some of the entitlement programs that we think are critical,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Grijalva called Lew a market-driven reformer and said there was a market-driven philosophy during the Clinton administration.

Lew served as director and deputy director of OMB under Clinton. His nomination to fill the OBM director role for Obama is expected to win Senate approval.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the other co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus, said she would liked to have seen Obama pick a director who was expressly committed to preserving government programs designed to help the poor and middle class.

“I was not crazy about him,” Woolsey said of Lew. “I would like someone who would reach beyond the markets to humans.”

The concerns come in anticipation of recommendations from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a special panel Obama created by executive order to reduce federal deficits. The recommendations are due Dec. 1.

Full story: Liberals air doubts over OMB pick – TheHill.com