Landrieu yields, Lew gets to work

LANDrIEU YIELDS, LEW GETS TO WORK…. I noted yesterday that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), still hoping to help the oil industry with coastal drilling, had not yet lifted her ridiculous hold on Jack Lew’s OMB nomination.

It’s only fair to note, then, that a few hours later, the center-right Louisianan finally relented.

The Office of Management and Budget has a director again — and he looks familiar.

Jacob J. Lew, confirmed for the position tonight on a voice vote in the Senate, will be coming back to the office he left in January 2001, turning over to his success about $236 billion in surplus funds. […]

The confirmation of Mr. Lew, currently a deputy secretary of state, had been delayed by a hold placed by Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, in protest of the Obama administration’s
moratorium on deep-water oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement tonight, she said she had released the hold because she had “received a commitment from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to provide certainty and regulatory clarity to an industry that has operated in the dark for months with shifting rules.”

How gracious of her to let the Senate do its job.

In explaining her ridiculous behavior, Landrieu added, “I figured it would get [the administration’s] attention and I think it has.”

Perhaps. But it’s also gotten the rest of our attention, too, and made clear that Landrieu will do the oil industry’s bidding, even if it means throwing an irresponsible tantrum.

The Office of Management and Budget is poised to start writing the 2012 budget, and it needs a budget director. Now that Landrieu’s reckless stunt has come to an end, Lew and his team can finally get to work.