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Obama to nominate Lew for Treasury post

- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2013

President Obama will announce Thursday afternoon his nomination of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to serve as Treasury secretary, a White House official confirmed.

Mr. Lew, a former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and former executive at Citigroup, will be introduced by the president at an event in the East Room of the White House at 1:30 p.m.

"Jack Lew will bring an impressive record of service in both the public and private sectors for over three decades and economic expertise to this important role, and his deep knowledge of domestic and international economic issues will enable him to take on the challenges facing our economy at home and abroad on day one," said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Throughout his career, Jack Lew has proven a successful and effective advocate for middle class families who can build bipartisan consensus to implement proven economic policies."

The president is choosing Mr. Lew to replace Timothy F. Geithner, who is heading back to the private sector after serving four years at Treasury.

Mr. Lew has close ties to Wall Street, receiving more than $900,000 in bonus cash from a division of Citigroup just as the company was getting bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.

His nomination faces some opposition from Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said he intends to block Mr. Lew's nomination because he misled Congress about administration plans to reduce the national debt and "must never be secretary of Treasury."

Two years ago, while serving as Mr. Obama's budget director, Mr. Lew told Congress that the president's budget would not add to the national debt. The government has run up trillion-dollar deficits each of the past four years.

The White House official said Mr. Lew's qualifications include his "tackling some of the toughest domestic and international economic challenges facing our nation in decades."

"That included strengthening our nation's recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression to dealing with serious fiscal matters and challenges in the global economy," the official said. "He also led the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton and President Obama, negotiating a historic agreement with Congress during the Clinton administration to balance the federal budget and leading the negotiations of the bipartisan Budget Control Act in 2011, which brought discretionary spending to historically low levels.

At Citigroup, Mr. Lew was part of the senior internal management team, serving as managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management and then as managing director and COO of Citi Alternative Investments.

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