Obama asks Zients to stay at OMB, will not be trade chief

March 19, 2013 15:59

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has asked budget official Jeff Zients to stay in his administration as acting budget director, taking him out of the running to become US trade chief, according to a source familiar with the White House plan.

Zients had been the front-runner to become US trade representative. Obama decided he needed Zients to stay in the economic team at a time when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was playing a critical role in dealing with the "sequester" set of across-the-board budget cuts.Zients would stay in that role until the confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, whom Obama has nominated to lead OMB.

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