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Obama to Tap New Budget Director

President Barack Obama is expected early Monday to announce his intention to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to a White House official.

Burwell, if confirmed, would replace Jacob J. Lew, who served as the White House budget director before being confirmed and sworn in as Treasury secretary last week.

Her nomination had been rumored, but even as late as last week OMB officials declined to confirm that Burwell was under consideration.

Though not well-known, Burwell would bring on-the-job experience, having served as deputy OMB director during the Clinton administration from 1998 to 2001. She also was a deputy chief of staff to Clinton and chief of staff to the Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration.

A White House official said she is “an expert on budgetary and domestic policy and brings a keen understanding of the budget process to this role.”

But Burwell’s nomination comes at a difficult time as the White House seeks to blunt the effects of $85 billion in automatic spending cuts now in effect. She also could face criticism from lawmakers unhappy with Obama’s decision to delay until late March the release of his fiscal 2014 budget blueprint, which is supposed to be issued on the first Monday in February, which fell on Feb. 4 this year.

Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, has already faced questions about the delay, which he said was due to last year’s fiscal uncertainties, including the fiscal cliff deliberations.