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June 21, 2010

White House Budget Chief to Resign

Democratic Party officials say Peter Orszag, U.S. President Barack Obama's budget director, will leave his post next month, becoming the first member of the president's economic team to step down.

Orszag heads the Office of Management and Budget, which shapes the administration's spending priorities.  He played key roles in helping Mr. Obama pass a major economic stimulus bill, and the recent overhaul of the U.S. health care system.

Orszag's spokesman, Kenneth Baer, did not confirm the resignation, saying the budget director is focused on his work and not what he called "Washington speculation."

Before joining the Obama administration, Orszag served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, which analyzes and predicts the economic impact of legislation.

He is leaving at a time when President Obama is facing growing pressure to reduce the government's huge deficit.  

While Orszag would be the first senior member of the Obama administration to step down, his departure does not come as a surprise for many who had expected he would not stay long in the administration.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.