- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

OMB

Orszag announces July retirement

White House budget chief Peter R. Orszag said Tuesday that he will step down next month, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Obama’s team to depart the administration.

Mr. Orszag confirmed his planned resignation in a brief interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. He said he views passage of last year’s economic recovery act as his most significant accomplishment.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that “a number of very talented candidates” were being considered to replace Mr. Orszag.

Peter has served alongside and within a valuable economic team that has faced the greatest economic crisis any president has faced since the Great Depression. It is an enormous task,” Mr. Gibbs said.

As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mr. Orszag holds a Cabinet-level rank and plays 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 Mr. Obama's government, often taking the lead in explaining plans to confront the deficit and to spur the economy.

TERRORISM

Pakistani Taliban sought for blacklist

The four senators from New York and New Jersey are seeking to force the Obama administration to blacklist the Pakistani Taliban, a day after the failed Times Square bomber pleaded guilty and admitted getting training from the group.

The lawmakers, all Democrats, said Tuesday they would introduce a bill requiring the State Department to designate the Pakistani Taliban a “foreign terrorist organization.”

“Now that the Times Square terrorist has pleaded guilty in court, it is time to take the next step by confronting the organization that aided and abetted him,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said in a statement.

Mr. Schumer, along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, already had written to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in May asking that the Pakistani Taliban be added to the list.

On Tuesday, department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that review was nearly complete and told reporters that he did not believe the legislation was necessary. Inclusion on the list freezes a group’s assets in the U.S. and imposes travel and financial sanctions on its members.

NLRB

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