- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

UPDATED:

The White House said Nancy Killefer, who President Obama tapped for a new job of chief performance officer, is withdrawing her nomination.

She is the third presidential nominee facing tax problems, and NBC first reported she is pulling her name. She reportedly had a $900 tax lien placed on her home in 2005 by the District of Columbia.

She would have been assigned to the Office of Management and Budget to lead what they called a SWAT team to streamline the government and cut government waste.

She is the second Obama nominee to withdraw — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was the president’s first choice for the Commerce Department but he pulled his name from consideration due to an ongoing ethics investigation in his home state.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was confirmed despite his problem with back taxes.

Mr. Obama nominated Republican Sen. Judd Gregg to be Commerce Secretary Tuesday morning, and also announced Iraq veteran Tammy Duckworth will be assistant secretary for Veterans Affairs.

Ms. Killefer wrote Mr. Obama a letter released by the White House Tuesday morning, to “reluctantly ask you to withdraw my name from consideration.”

“I recognize that your agenda and the duties facing your Chief Performance Officer are urgent,” she wrote. “I have also come to realize in the current environment that my personal tax issue of D.C. Unemployment tax could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid.”

Mr. Obama announced the Gregg nomination in the White House Grand Foyer, calling his former Senate colleague “famous, or infamous, for his strict fiscal discipline.”

He said while they disagree on some matters, even the outcome of the 2008 election, they agree on the “urgent need” for economic action amid the recession.

Mr. Gregg, who thanked New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch for agreeing to appoint a Republican as his replacement, said he will put aside partisanship as part of the new administration.

“This is not the time when we should stand in our ideological corners and shout at each other,” he said.

Mr. Obama ignored a reporter’s shouted question about the tax problems and waved at the press as he left the foyer.


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