Budget Chief Orszag Reportedly Set To Resign
Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will step down from his post in July, "according to two knowledgeable administration officials," The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Mr. Orszag helped steer through Congress a $797 billion economic-stimulus bill in his first weeks at the White House job before becoming one of the driving forces in shaping the health-care law. The president had wanted a decision from Mr. Orszag before the fall, when the administration will begin the arduous process of putting together the fiscal 2011 budget amid some of the greatest budget pressures in modern U.S. history." The administration is now considering possible successors, including "Gene Sperling, a director of President Bill Clinton's National Economic Council and a top aide to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner." Other names on the list include "Laura Tyson, a former top Clinton White House economist and dean of the University of California's Haas School of Business; Robert Greenstein, director of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Rep. Artur Davis (D., Ala.), an early supporter of Mr. Obama's White House bid who recently lost the Democratic nomination for his long-shot campaign to be Alabama's first African-American governor" (Weisman, 6/22).
The New York Times: "Mr. Orszag, an economist who previously spent nearly two years as director of the Congressional Budget Office, somewhat reluctantly accepted Mr. Obama's invitation to join the Cabinet after the 2008 election and never planned to stay more than two years. Typically, budget directors do not. A longtime scholar of health policy economics, Mr. Orszag also helped devise and sell the president's signature initiative overhauling the health insurance system. He privately has told associates that having worked on two budgets, a stimulus plan and the health care law, it is time to leave while he is ahead." Orszag is getting married in September (Calmes, 6/21).
NPR: "Orszag joined the Obama administration after leading the Congressional Budget Office, where he developed an expertise in health care policy. He was instrumental in shaping the administration's health care proposal, as well as its overall spending plans. He was also a big advocate for using data to drive decision-making, with a head for numbers - and for fitness. He distributed pedometers to people in his office on the theory that counting their steps would encourage more physical activity and improve the health of the workforce" (Horsley, 6/22).
The Associated Press: "The move comes as Obama continues to face the steep economic challenges of reining in the deficit and rallying support for more stimulative spending" (Feller, 6/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.