New Budget Chief Reported but White House Denies It : Budget Nominee Reported; White House Issues Denial

Associated Press

Congressional sources said today that President Reagan has decided to appoint Federal Trade Commission Chairman James C. Miller III as his new budget director, but the White House denied it.

Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes said White House Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan "is still interviewing people for the job and he has not made any recommendation to the President."

Regan has said he hopes the successor to David A. Stockman, who resigned effective Aug. 1 to take a high-paying job on Wall Street, will be less controversial and more of a behind-the-scenes "numbers cruncher."

Speakes said a decision on Stockman's successor will probably be made by the end of the week.

"No one has been offered the job," Speakes said. "The President has not made a decision, nor have there been any recommendations to him. There is a list and the list has been narrowed but it includes a number of names."

However, congressional sources, who asked not to be identified by name, said the Administration was spreading the word that Miller would be named to the post.

During his four years on the FTC, Miller moved to temper the aggressively pro-consumer approach taken under Michael Pertschuk, an appointee of Jimmy Carter. He joined the FTC after serving as resident scholar and co-director of the Center for the Study of Government Regulation at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank with a conservative bent.

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