On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had unusually harsh criticism for a congressional Democrat, calling down U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for her decision to block the nomination to director of the Office of Management and Budget. Landrieu has vowed to hold up Jacob Lew's nomination until the Obama administration lifts its ban on deepwater drilling.
The six-month drilling moratorium, a policy enacted in response the Deepwater Horizon explosion, is set to expire Nov. 30.
As The Huffington Post noted, Gibbs blasted Landrieu, calling her decision to block the nomination “sad” and “outrageous”:
“The budget-planning process is under way,” Gibbs said. “And should be under way with a director with the type of bipartisan support that Jack has gotten through two committees. I think it is a sad day when somebody is held up with such bipartisan support with the type of experience that’s necessary in an environment where we have to improve our fiscal picture that that person is held up for something that is completely unrelated to them.”
In a statement released at noon today, Landrieu reiterates she is holding firm on the block:
Even though the pressure to end my hold on the Obama Administration’s Office of Management and Budget nominee increased this week, I refuse to relent until the moratorium ends. Fighting for Louisiana’s economy and communities comes first, rather than following one president or towing the party line. Our coast is a working coast that cannot recover without a robust economy.
Although I am critical of the administration's moratorium, I commend the president for keeping his commitment to rebuild the coast.
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