November 25, 2008 / 5:36 PM / 12 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS: Obama taps Orszag to head White House budget office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag to head the White House Office of Management and Budget.

He also named Capitol Hill aide Rob Nabors to serve as deputy director of OMB.

Following are highlights from a news conference Obama held where he made the announcements.

OBAMA ON STIMULUS AND LONG-TERM BUDGET STRAINS

“We’ve got to distinguish between (the) immediate and temporary infusion that is going to be required to kick start our economy and some of the structural spending that has been taking place in Washington that has created this huge mountain of debt.”

“The immediate needs of the economy and the long-term concerns that we have are not necessarily incompatible.”

“As soon as the recovery is well underway then we’ve got to set up a long-term plan to reduce the structural deficit and make sure we are not leaving a mountain of debt for the next generation.”

OBAMA ON HELPING STATES AND MUNICIPALITIES WITH SPENDING

“We are going to have to make sure that we are investing in roads, bridges, other infrastructure investment that lays the groundwork for long-term economic growth ... A lot of that goes through our state and local governments.”

“We’re going to be working very closely with governors ... mayors, towns, small and large across the country ... part of our job is to make sure that we are listening to what’s happening on the ground where the rubber hits the road and not simply designing something out of Washington.”

OBAMA ON BIPARTISAN APPROACH

“They don’t want ideology, they don’t want bickering, they don’t want sniping,” he said of the American people.

“We’re going to work as closely as we can with the Republican party ... We want their input. We want their ideas. We’re already seeing bipartisan accolades for the budget team I’m putting together because they recognize they are serious guys.”

OBAMA ON SPENDING RESTRAINT

“If we’re going to make the investments we need, we must also be willing to shed the spending we don’t. In these challenging times, when we are facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It is an imperative. We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a politician, lobbyist, or interest group. We simply cannot afford it.”

“This isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That is why I will ask my team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges. We will go through our federal budget — page by page, line by line — eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.”

OBAMA ON INTENTION TO ACT SWIFTLY, BOLDLY

“Given the extraordinary circumstances that we find ourselves in ... I think It is very important for the American people to understand that we are putting together a first class team and for them to have clarity that we don’t intend to stumble in to the next administration. We are going to hit the ground running.”

“We are not going back to business as usual when it comes to our budget ... Is this going to be more of the same when it comes to Washington spending? I want to be very clear the answer is no.”

“Their new president has a plan and is going to act swiftly and boldly.”

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