Budget Office is Now Lew Jack City

From Sunlen Miller and Kirit Radia

President Obama today will nominate Jack Lew as the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, replacing Peter Orszag, who will leave the post at the end of the month.

Lew currently serves as the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, serving as COO of the State Department. He served in President Clinton’s cabinet in the OMB post from 1998 to 2001, earlier serving as OMB’s Deputy Director.

“The experience and good judgment Jack has acquired throughout his impressive career in the public and private sector will be an extraordinary asset to this administration’s efforts to cut down the deficit and put our nation back on a fiscally responsible path,” President Obama said in a paper statement in advance of the formal announcement, “As the budget director who left the next administration a $237 billion surplus when he worked for President Clinton, I have no doubt that Jack has proven himself equal to this extraordinary task.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought Lew to the State Department, tasking him with increasing the department’s budget which had stagnated in recent years. He was the point person on the department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review – an effort to determine long-term budget needs to justify budget increases for the State Department. Lew was also the point person for the civilian surge into Afghanistan.

In an email sent to State Department staff today, Clinton praised Lew’s time at the department, yet called the news “bittersweet.”

“As Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources -- a post never before filled -- he has been a tireless and effective advocate for both the State Department and USAID, and for our global development efforts, our civilian efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, our budget goals, the first-ever QDDR, and in ensuring that each of us has the tools needed to accomplish our missions.”

The President will formally announce the appointment in a Diplomatic Reception Room announcement this afternoon.

-Sunlen Miller and Kirit Radia

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