WASHINGTON – President Bush's nominee to run the White House budget office, former GOP Rep. Jim Nussle, appears a long shot to win confirmation before the Senate's summer break.
The Senate Budget Committee approved his nomination by a 22-1 vote Thursday, but one committee member, Sen. Bernard Sanders, said he would hold up the nomination. Sanders' threat of a filibuster is enough to delay action until September at the earliest.
"President Bush is completely out of touch with the economic realities facing working families," said Sanders, a Vermont independent. "He needs a budget director who will make him face the facts, not his fantasies."
The committee chairman, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that at least one other senator also has placed a procedural block on Nussle's nomination.
The White House had hoped Nussle, an Iowa Republican, could be confirmed quickly so he could participate in negotiations on Capitol Hill this fall over the 12 annual appropriations bills and lead the preparation of Bush's next budget. The spending plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, 2008, is to be submitted to Congress in February.