"A budget is more than simply numbers on a page. It is a measure of how well we are living up to our obligations to ourselves and one another."
                                              – President Barack Obama

"The President, joined by Director Orszag and Deputy Director Nabors, discusses fiscal responsibility."


Another Look at IMAC

Yesterday, a group of some of the most distinguished health economists in the country sent a letter to the President and Congress in support of the Administration’s proposal for the establishment of an independent board of doctors and health experts to guide Medicare policy. This Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) would make recommendations on Medicare reimbursement policy and other reforms – playing a critical role in allowing health care policy to adjust flexibly to a dynamic health care market, thereby helping contain costs and improve quality over time.
THU, JULY 30, 6:14 PM EST

Werfel Gets the Nod

Today, I am proud to announce that the President will nominate Danny Werfel to be the new Controller of OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM). Danny is currently Deputy Controller and in this capacity has served as Acting Controller during this critically important transition. His leadership in implementing the Recovery Act is just one example of his stellar work over many years – work that led the Administration to recognize what those who have worked with him have known for years: Danny’s an extraordinarily able public servant.
MON, JULY 27, 5:35 PM EST

Meeting the $100 Million Savings Challenge

Getting the most from our taxpayer dollars requires ongoing attention and effort. That’s why at the President’s first Cabinet meeting on April 20, he called on Cabinet members to identify at least $100 million in collective cuts to their administrative budgets, separate and apart from those identified in FY 2010 Budget. In a memo that Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu and I sent to the President, we report that agencies have identified 77 cost-saving measures that meet these criteria – amounting to $243 million in savings through 2010 and $265 million including savings in the out-years. Of this, about $102 million would be realized in FY 2009, and about $140 million would be saved in FY 2010.
MON, JULY 27, 1:32 PM EST

Closing Lobbyist Loopholes

The President believes that a piece of legislation as important as the Recovery Act must be implemented with an unprecedented degree of transparency. That is why, in March, he imposed substantial limits on lobbyists in their communications with the Federal government about the Recovery Act. He also ordered OMB to evaluate agencies’ actual experiences with the restrictions in the first 60 days and then recommend whether any modifications were needed. That review resulted in a decision to tighten the restrictions and, on Friday, OMB updated the formal guidance on Recovery Act communications with lobbyists.

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