WASHINGTON (AP) _ President-elect Bush tapped longtime adviser Joe Allbaugh to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the department that responds to natural disasters and other domestic crises, two senior advisers said Thursday.
Allbaugh’s nomination was to be announced by Bush later in the day, along with the appointment of Karl Rove as senior White House adviser. Allbaugh was the manager of Bush’s presidential campaign and Rove was its senior political strategist.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bush was giving Rove a huge portfolio, including the White House offices for politics, public liaison and strategic initiatives.
If confirmed by the Senate, Allbaugh will replace James Lee Witt, a close ally of President Clinton credited with reviving the agency.
Officials said Bush was close to making several other appointments, including:
_Nicholas E. Calio, a Washington lobbyist, will be the White House’s top congressional liaison.
_Albert Hawkins, who served as budget director for Bush in Texas, is slated to be Bush’s liaison to the Cabinet.
The selections came as Bush closed out his economic summit in Austin, Texas, with a powerful roster of high-tech industry leaders expressing concerns about what they consider too much government interference.