White House dismisses report of budget chief exit

WASHINGTON, April 22 Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:28am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - A White House official on Thursday dismissed as "idle speculation" a news report that President Barack Obama's budget director Peter Orszag is considering stepping down in the coming months.

The Obama administration pushed back against the Bloomberg news report that Orszag had been poised to leave as early as this summer but was weighing Obama's appeal to stay on and would make his decision soon. Orszag heads the White House Office of Management and Budget.

"He's focused on his job and idle speculation is just that," said Kenneth Baer, an OMB spokesman.

If Orszag were to leave, it would be the first departure from Obama's Cabinet and would come as the president is putting increased focus on reducing record federal budget deficits.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Will Dunham)