Senior Obama adviser to lead search for SCOTUS nominee
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Brian Deese, a senior adviser to President Obama, has been tapped to lead the process of selecting a Supreme Court nominee and getting that person confirmed, a White House official said Monday.

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“Brian will ensure that the full capacity of the White House is trained on this effort, even while the rest of the White House continues its important work on other presidential priorities,” the official said.

A veteran of Obama’s 2008 campaign, Deese played a key role in the 2009 auto bailouts, served as acting director of the White House’s budget office and led Obama’s climate change efforts in the president's second term.

Deese was also a key player on the White House team that completed a sweeping budget deal last fall with then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio).

“The president has relied on Brian in a number of critical situations to do important work and to take on important projects," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said later Monday. “Given Brian’s performance in those other priorities, I don’t think it’s particularly surprising that he would be tapped for this responsibility too.”

Deese began his work on the Supreme Court process last week, Earnest said. 

White House Counsel Neil Eggleston will be in charge of the legal elements of the process, including the researching and vetting of potential nominees.

The group will report to Obama and his chief of staff, Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughObama: Bannon, Breitbart shifted media narrative in 'powerful direction' DNC chairman to teach at Brown University Trump mocked Obama for three chiefs of staff in three years MORE, on a “regular basis,” according to the official.

Obama faces a litany of obstacles in pushing his nominee through the nomination process. Citing November’s elections, Senate Republicans have pledged to not give consideration to any Obama pick. They say the next president should choose a replacement for Antonin Scalia, the leading conservative voice on the bench.

But the White House has sought to show Obama is taking the process seriously. He’s meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday with the hopes of persuading them to consider his nominee.

The White House is also looking to a number of former top officials to help the push. Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager in 2012, and Katie Beirne Fallon, who recently left her post as legislative affairs director, are among the group, The New York Times reported.

-- This report was updated at 1:44 p.m.