President Obama’s decision today to replace White House chief of staff William Daley with the director of the Office of Management and Budget Jack Lew is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill as Washington watchers recall Mr. Lew’s past statements.
On Feb. 13, 2011, Mr. Lew appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley and said of Mr. Obama’s proposed budget:
Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.
Mr. Lew’s statement was deemed “false” by the nonpartisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.com.
“The contention that ‘we will not be adding more to the national debt’ after the middle of the decade seems incorrect on its face,” reported PolitiFact. “So what is the administration thinking?”
On interest payments alone, Mr. Obama’s budget would have accrued $884 billion, and in the end, Mr. Obama’s budget was considered so misguided that it was unanimously rejected by the U.S. Senate in a 97-0 vote.
Still, Mr. Lew’s false statement did not escape scrutiny and came under intense fire when he received the following grilling at the hands of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL):
Look for Republicans and Hill watchers to comb Jack Lew’s past statements and decisions for more falsities in the days ahead.