HONOLULU—President Barack Obama will push back the release of his budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 by about a week, a delay administration officials blame in part on a hold placed on Obama's nominee for budget director.
Obama had planned to release the budget Feb. 7, but an administration official said Obama now plans to put out his proposal early the following week.
The official, who insisted on anonymity in order to speak about internal administration decisions, said the six-week delay in confirming new budget director Jacob Lew was a central factor in the decision to delay the budget. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu put a hold on Lew's nomination in protest of the administration's moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
The delay is also the result of Congress working so late in the year on funding decisions for 2011, the official said.
Lawmakers left Washington last week without a plan to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2011, which ends in October. They did pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through early March, meaning the president will have to negotiate with a Congress more heavily-laden with Republicans to fund the government through the rest of 2011 and 2012.
GOP lawmakers have said they plan to push for broad spending cuts.
Obama's 2012 budget proposal will be watched closely for signs that the president is taking steps to reduce the mounting deficit. The White House has said Obama is studying the recommendations from his bipartisan budget commission, though officials haven't said which proposals the president favors.
The commission's report included several controversial proposals, including plans to raise the Social Security retirement age and scale back popular tax deductions on health insurance and mortgage interest.