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White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is stepping down from his post, making way for budget director Jacob Lew to take his place at the end of the month, President Obama announced Monday.
“Obviously this was not easy news to hear,” Obama told reporters at a White House press conference. “Bill has been an outstanding chief of staff during one of the busiest and most consequential years of my administration.”
Daley’s departure came in the wake of significant changes to his role as chief of staff in November, when senior adviser Pete Rouse was given more power, according to ABC News. It was the first sign that there was trouble between the administration and Daley, who was brought in to replace Rahm Emanuel in 2010 after he left to run for mayor of Chicago.
Some members of the White House staff had doubts about Daley’s ability to deal with Congress on politically charged budget issues, like the payroll tax. In recent weeks he had been feuding with Sen. Harry Reid and other key Democrats.
“Daley wasn’t exactly a dead man walking inside the White House, but everyone knew he was a goner and that limited his influence,” Politico correspondent Glenn Thrush wrote Monday.
With a number of large Congressional battles battle looming on the horizon, Daley opted to step down. As a result, the White House turned to Lew — who helped balance the federal budget during the Clinton administration, where he showed himself to be “budget impresario” skilled at negotiating on both sides of the aisle to reach a consensus.
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