WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Franklin D. Raines on Friday to be President Clinton's budget chief, ending a near five-month delay by Republicans demanding more details about White House spending plans.
The voice vote will allow Raines, now a top executive at the Fannie Mae home-loan bank, to replace Alice Rivlin as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rivlin was named to the Federal Reserve Board.
"I think this is the right thing to do," Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said. "I'm satisfied he is eminently qualified for the position."
Clinton named Raines, 47, to fill the vacancy in April. But some Republicans, led by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), refused to let the Senate vote on the nomination until the White House provided more information about how it would balance the budget by 2002.
Domenici complained that with the administration promising to protect education, environmental protection and anti-crime funds from cuts, he wanted to see how other programs would fare.
On Friday, Domenici spokesman Bob Stevenson said the senator had received the information he needed.
For the past five years, Raines has been vice chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Assn., or Fannie Mae, the nation's largest underwriter of home mortgages. He headed Fannie Mae's legal, credit policy, finance and corporate development functions.
Raines was an economic and trade advisor to Clinton during the last presidential transition. Before going to Fannie Mae, he was a partner in municipal finance at the investment banking firm of Lazard Freres & Co. for 12 years.
He was also an economic advisor to President Carter from 1977 to 1979, associate director for economics and government in the budget office and assistant director of Carter's White House domestic policy staff.