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Shaun Donovan's OMB nomination advances in Senate

Jun. 25, 2014 - 01:23PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan Speaks At Center F
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is in line to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is one step closer to becoming the next director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Reform Committee approved his nomination June 25 and now his nomination heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Donovan would replace former OMB director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was sworn in as the Health and Human Services Department secretary June 24. Obama plans to nominate current San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to replace Donovan as secretary at HUD.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said at the hearing Donovan is an extraordinary leader and a quick learner and has worked to help communities rebuild from hurricanes and from other disasters.

“I find him to be extraordinary positive and upbeat at a time when we need some enthusiasm around here in order to find common ground to move forward,” Landrieu.

But there was significant Republican resistance to his nomination. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said he would not vote or against the nomination, but was disappointed that Donovan’s written answers to committee questions were cut and paste from other questions asked by other committees.

“Mine is more a protest vote that we continue to see unresponsiveness to the committees questions with pasted answers rather than the nominees personal answers to the question,” Coburn said.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said he does not believe Donovan is the right choice to lead OMB.

“He is a fine man and I am sure he is a fine family man. I just don’t think he is qualified to be OMB director. I simply can’t support this nomination,” Johnson said.

Obama said May 23 at a state dinner that Donovan has done great work helping families rebound from the housing market crash and has worked to make HUD more efficient and improve agency performance.

“So Shaun has earned a reputation as a great manager, a fiscally responsible leader, and somebody who knows how the decisions we make here in Washington affect people’s lives all across the country. And that’s why I’m absolutely confident he will do a great job leading the Office of Management and Budget, and help even more hardworking Americans get ahead,” Obama said.

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