Senate panels endorse Obama budget nominee Burwell

President Barack Obama's nominee to run the White House budget office appears heading toward easy Senate confirmation after back-to-back approval by two key panels.

A former deputy budget director and top White House aide during the Clinton administration, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, won voice vote approval by the Budget and Homeland Security and Government Reform panels on Wednesday.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Burwell would be thrust into Washington's roiling budget debate. At her confirmation hearing last week, she stressed the need to work in a bipartisan manner and her experience in helping craft bipartisan budget agreements in the late 1990s.

More recently, Burwell was president of the Wal-Mart Foundation and a top executive at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.