WASHINGTON (AP) - White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans
to resign, a Democratic official said Monday night, positioning him
to be the first high-profile member of President Barack Obama's
team to depart the administration.
Orszag is expected to leave in the coming months. The exact
timing is not known.
As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag holds
Cabinet-level rank and a pivotal role in shaping and defending how
the administration spends the public's money. He quickly emerged
from a bureaucratic post to become a camera-friendly face of
Obama's government, often in front on plans to confront the deficit
and to spur the economy.
The official confirmed the news to The Associated Press on
condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.
Orszag's spokesman, Kenneth Baer, said only: "Peter's focused
on his work, not on Washington speculation."
That speculation has for weeks held that Orszag would leave this
year after a grueling, nonstop sprint as the head of the budget
agency and a key adviser to Obama. During his tenure, Congress has
passed the most expensive economic stimulus program in U.S. history
and a massive health care reform law. Orszag has overseen Obama's
first two budgets, too.
Orszag, 41, came to Obama's government from the position of
director of the Congressional Budget Office, the agency charged
with providing nonpartisan analyses of economic issues to
lawmakers. He served during Bill Clinton's administration as an
assistant to the president for economic policy and a senior adviser
at the National Economic Council.
The move comes as Obama continues to face the steep economic
challenges of reining in the deficit and rallying support for more
stimulative spending. The economic recovery is plodding along but
unemployment remains near 10 percent.