Nussle to White House

Former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle is likely leaving the Giuliani campaign team.  The White House announced this morning that Nussle would become the White House Budget Director. 

Nussle was an Iowa congressman for 16 years.  He ran for governor last year and lost. He led the U.S. House Budget Committee from January, 1997 to January, 2007.

UPDATE:  Here’s the Radio Iowa story.  Pete Jeffries, a key advisor to Nussle’s gubernatorial campaign and a former aide to US House Speaker Dennis Hastert, now works for AARP in Iowa, but happened to be in AARP meetings in DC today.  He talked with Radio Iowa about Nussle.  (Jeffries told Radio Ioaw he has no intention of returning to DC to work in the OMB.  Radio Iowa left messages with long-time Nussle friend Steve Greiner, too.  Greiner used to be Nussle’s chief of staff, then went to work for former US House Speaker Newt Gingrinch.  Greiner was back in Iowa for the last push before the November election.  Greiner & Nussle opened their own consulting firm this spring with offices in Cedar Rapids & DC.)

UPDATE II:  Here’s the statement Rudy Giuliani just issued: “President Bush made a great choice in Jim Nussle for Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  The President’s decision was the right one for our country and for taxpayers.   

“Jim and I have long shared a commitment to fiscal discipline and I have every confidence he will continue to be an effective steward of taxpayers’ hard earned dollars in his new position. 

“As our campaign continues to grow our team in Iowa, I am grateful to Jim for his early support and for his hard work in helping our team get started.”

Update III:  Here’s the statement from Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo, the Democrat who won the seat Nussle abandoned to run for governor.  “Jim Nussle worked for Iowa in Congress for nearly two decades, and I’m sure he’ll continue to work to advance Iowa’s interests in his new position as President Bush’s budget director. I look forward to working with Jim in his new role as we enter this critical stage in the appropriations process.  I hope that his experience in Congress as House Budget Chair will help President Bush appreciate the budget priorities of the American people," Braley said in a prepared statement.  "With an Iowan serving as the President’s budget director, I know we will be able to work together to benefit Iowans.”

Braley diverted from the tone of a statement released by the Iowa Democratic Party.  A summary?  Iowa Democrats wouldn’t trust Nussle to balance their checkbook.

Update IV:  Here’s the statement released by Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa.  “Jim Nussle has an excellent background to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He understands the federal budget and the relationship between Congress and the Administration from his work as chairman of the House Budget Committee.  He’s in a position to be a strong advocate for the President’s fiscal policies," Grassley said in a prepared statement. "I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be quickly confirmed by the Senate.”

No statement from the Republican Party of Iowa to this Nussle news.  Wonder if they’re still smarting over Nussle’s statements about the Straw Poll…

Update V:  Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, issued a statement that doesn’t exactly say whether he’ll vote to confirm Nussle or not. “I congratulate Congressman Nussle on his nomination, and I look forward to his testimony before the Senate Budget Committee," Harkin said in a prepared statement. "If confirmed, Congressman Nussle will certainly have his work cut out for him. After inheriting the largest budget surplus in history, President Bush and the Republican leadership in Congress pursued reckless fiscal policies that led to our current budget deficits and have underfunded vital domestic programs.  The task is on us to craft responsible fiscal policies that will invest in America’s future.  I look forward to hearing Congressman Nussle’s thoughts on how he would accomplish these objectives.”

Update VI:  Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, issued a statement a few moments after Harkin.  "Jim Nussle served Iowa with great distinction in the United States Congress for 16 years.  As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he proved he is tenacious, and a leader who knows how to work on both sides of the aisle to maintain financial discipline and accountability to the American taxpayers.  We Iowans were fortunate to have his representation, just as the President is fortunate to have found the right man for the right job," said King in a prepared statement. "Jim Nussle has proven himself time and again.  It will be a real pleasure to join him, again, in our efforts to slow the growth of government and balance the budget."


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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.