White House budget chief stepping down

WASHINGTON - (AP) - White House Budget Director Peter Orszag sayshe's stepping down next month, positioning him to be the firsthigh-profile member of President Barack Obama's team to depart theadministration. Orszag confirmed his planned resignation in a brief interviewwith The Associated Press on Tuesday. He said he views passage oflast year's economic recovery act as his most significantaccomplishment. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that "anumber of very talented candidates" were being considered toreplace Orszag. "Peter has served alongside and within a valuable economic teamthat has faced the greatest economic crisis any president has facedsince the great depression. It is an enormous task," Gibbs said. As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag holdsCabinet-level rank and a pivotal role in shaping and defending howthe administration spends the public's money. He quickly emergedfrom a bureaucratic post to become a camera friendly face ofObama's government, often in front on plans to confront the deficitand to spur the economy.

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