White House makes changes to staff structure

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is seen May 22, 2011, during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. AFP/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is seen May 22, 2011, during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington.
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley
AFP/Getty Images

President Obama's chief of staff Bill Daley is shaking up internal White House operations in response to criticism about the way he handled of the fight to raise the nation's legal borrowing limit over the summer and heightened tensions with some Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Daley has asked Obama's longtime aide Pete Rouse to take on an expanded operational and coordination role with the White House staff, according to a senior White House official. The official added Daley is not turning over day-to-day management of the White House.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday that Daley was giving up such responsibilities.

Daley will remain as chief of staff. Rouse will continue as counselor to the president. One official said this shift in responsibilities is akin to making Rouse chief operating officer of the White House.

Rouse's assignment is to better coordinate the work of the White House staff as they struggle to implement the president's policies. Daley has had strained relationships with Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Rouse is a Hill veteran and is sometimes referred to as the 101st senator because of his ties to lawmakers and knowledge of the Senate.

This shake-up is no doubt in response to persistent grumbling that Daley has not effectively managed the president's relations with Democrats, notably Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and N.Y. Sen. Charles Schumer.

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