WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has selected the head of the Wal-Mart Foundation as his budget director in the midst of a partisan battle over government spending.

Obama announced his selection of Sylvia Mathews Burwell at the White House Monday, noting that she comes on as the government grapples with $85 billion in automatic cuts.

The White House and congressional Republicans were unable to reach a deal to avert the cuts ahead of Friday's deadline. The president said Americans "are going to feel some pain" because of the cuts.

The foundation she's been running is retailer Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) philanthropic wing.

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