In the back room: Who’s negotiating the budget deal

April 8, 2011

The White House and congressional leaders have been negotiating for weeks on a deal to keep the government funded – with a deadline of midnight Friday to reach a final agreement or else the government will shut down.

But while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama have been the public faces of the budget talks, a group of top White House and congressional staffers has been working behind closed doors on the details of a potential deal.

The Washington Post’s Phil Rucker takes a look at two of the top negotiators: Barry Jackson, Boehner’s chief of staff; and David Krone, chief of staff to Reid.

With thanks to WhoRunsGov, here’s a take on who else is doing the negotiating -- the “guys behind the guys”:

Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew : Lewhas been the lead White House negotiator in the talks. He served as budget director during the Clinton administration from 1998 to 2001 and was involved in the 1983 Social Security deal, the 1997 balanced-budget deal and last year’s tax deal between Congress and the White House. Obama tapped him in July 2010 to succeed former OMB director Peter Orszag. (The Post’s Lori Montgomery profiled Lew in February.)

White House Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors : A former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Nabors succeeded Phil Schiliro as head of the White House legislative shop in February. He was also senior adviser to former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley : Daley has served as White House chief of staff since January. The brother of outgoing Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley was Bill Clinton’s commerce secretary from 1997 to 2000 and later worked as an executive at JP Morgan Chase.

House Appropriations Staff Director Bill Inglee : In December, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) announced Inglee’s appointment as the committee’s staff director for the 112th Congress. Before that, Inglee was vice president for global security policy at Lockheed Martin. He also served as a staffer on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Appropriations Committee and as national security adviser to then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Senate Appropriations Staff Director Charles Houy: Houy, who was a staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee since 1983, was named the committee’s staff director in February 2009. Before that, he served as clerk for the Senate subcommittee on defense.

Staff writers Paul Kane and Ben Pershing contributed to this report.

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