Obama taps new White House budget chief

Updated: 2013-03-05 03:55


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday tapped Washington budget veteran Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the director of White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Burwell once served as deputy director of the OMB in the Clinton administration. If confirmed by US Senate, Burwell, president of Walmart Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the retail titan, will replace acting OMB director Jeffrey Zients, to act as White House's budget chief. She has to cope with some imminent challenges including the negative effects caused by the ongoing government spending cuts and the mounting public debt surpassing $16 trillion.

As a Washington veteran, she also served as deputy White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and chief of staff for Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Burwell's nomination came at a difficult time as the $85 billion government spending cuts this fiscal year were in effect since last week.

Speaking at a White House nomination ceremony on Monday, Obama lauded Burwell's expertise in the government budget but cautioned that a lot of Americans will fell some pain from the government spending cuts.

Obama on Friday signed an order to officially start the across- the-board government spending cuts for this fiscal year ending on September 30, after the White House and Republicans failed to reach a plan to stop the spending cuts from beginning to take effect.