Burwell confirmation praised by W.Va. officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – West Virginia’s Democratic contingent to Congress offered kudos to the confirmation of a state native as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Sylvia Burwell was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday by 96-0 vote.

“The fact that Sylvia worked so closely with Erskine Bowles one of the architects of the best template to get our finances in order and helped produce the last balanced budget and budget surplus our country enjoyed over a decade ago, proves that she can help us get our long-term fiscal house in order,” Sen. Joe Manchin.

Manchin has supported the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction recommendations.

Burwell is from Hinton near the New River. Her father was an optometrist and her mother, Cleo, was mayor of Hinton and president of the state board of education.

“I look forward to working alongside a fellow West Virginian as we work on common sense solutions to control our spending and once again become a fiscally responsible nation,” Manchin said.

Burwell graduated from Harvard where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She was deputy director of Management and Budget from 1998 to 2001 and served under President Clinton, negotiating balanced budgets with Congress.

She left government for 12 years and worked for the Wal-Mart Foundation, the Gates Foundation and MetLife.

“I know Sylvia will do everything she can with her personal fortune of talents to help balance our federal budget with the needs of the families of West Virginia and those across the nation,” Rep. Nick J. Rahall said. “If her Senate confirmation is any indication of her ability to work with both sides of the aisle, the country can count its blessings she will be at the helm of the OMB.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Burwell and her family have been long-time friends.

“Sylvia’s abundant knowledge and budget experience make her the right person to take on our country’s fiscal challenges. The overwhelming bipartisan support Sylvia received during her confirmation proves that,” Rockefeller said. “In addition to her impressive experience, she is humble – sticking to her West Virginia roots-and dedicated to helping those in most need. I know she will exceed expectations in her new position.”