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Heather Higginbottom, former Kerry aide, confirmed as deputy OMB head

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-11 11:49 AM
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Heather Higginbottom, former Kerry aide, confirmed as deputy OMB head

President Obama's controversial choice to be the deputy head of the Office of Management and Budget was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 64 to 36.

The vote nomination of Heather Higginbottom, a former aide to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) had been held up for more than 10 months by the GOP.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 10:29 AM
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1. Kerry spoke on her behalf on the Senate floor
Edited on Fri Oct-21-11 11:02 AM by karynnj

from Thomas:

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I wish to say a few words, if I may, about the nominee whom we are about to vote on.

I strongly support the nomination of Heather Higginbottom to be the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

It has been more than 12 years since Heather first came to work for me in the Senate as a senior legislative assistant, and later she became my legislative director and top policy aide. In all those years on the Hill, I want to assure my colleagues who are thinking about this position that she stood out not just for her policy knowledge and her understanding of the budget and the legislative process but for her ability to work across the aisle.

I know a lot of colleagues are anxious to confirm people who come not with partisan intent but with the ability to try to get things done in Washington. Believe me, Heather has that ability.

She worked with me and developed my proposal a number of years ago for a constitutional line-item veto--a proposal which now has many bipartisan supporters in the Senate. I also saw firsthand her instinct to put aside ideology and to go after waste, to push for tough-minded budget reforms, all of which protected the taxpayers' interests. She worked with me through seven budget cycles, and I am pleased to say, as many Members remember, we balanced the budget back in those years. So I think she comes with an experience of understanding what the tough choices are that can help to improve our fiscal situation now.

I came to know somebody who worked diligently and looked at the budget with a critical eye. When Jack Lew announced Heather's nomination, he said she was known for her ``dedication to sound public policy that makes a difference in people's lives.''

Health care, technology, poverty, education, infrastructure--for every single one of these priorities, she will look at them to determine whether the current policies are working, whether there are ways we could do things more effectively, and whether the American taxpayer is getting what they deserve in return for their investment. For all those efforts, I think Jack Lew could not have chosen a stronger or more competent Deputy. I hope my colleagues will support her nomination.

Not sure if it signals anything at all, but Brown voted against her. Collins,Corker, Graham, Johanns, Kyl, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Snowe and Toomey voted yes.

The Boston Globe reported on Brown's vote - he voted saying he agreed with Jeff Sessions that her experience was lacking - though Bush's budget person, Portman voted for her as did the sharpest Republican on the Finance committe - Kyl. Given Kerry's words, Brown showed no respect for Kerry's judgment in making her his chief policy aide. Mr independent for bipartisanship, he isn't.

Brown didnt release a statement explaining his vote, but a spokesman noted concerns about Higginbottoms qualifications raised both by Brown and Senator Jeff Sessions, the Alabaman who is top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

In April, Sessions said Higginbottoms experience level is stunningly lacking.

He added during an interview with Fox News: Shes never served on the Budget Committee, never studied business. Never run a business. Never been a mayor of a town.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 01:55 PM
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2. Kerry did the introduction - Brown was on the committee and was an ass
Brown's comments start at 74 minutes in. (He looks like he pulled an allnighter the night before.) Balancing that, Kerry's introduction was wonderful and was at 20 minutes in.

Here is Kerry's PR statement -
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