- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 26, 2010


President Obama likely will announce a replacement for key economic adviser Lawrence Summers by mid-January, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.

Mr. Gibbs, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, also said there were no expectations for major changes in Mr. Obama’s Cabinet in the second half of his term.

Mr. Summers announced his resignation as head of the National Economic Council in September but has continued in the job.

“I expect the president will make a new announcement on a new NEC director probably the first week or two weeks after Congress comes back into session,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Members of the new Congress, which will have a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and a smaller Democratic majority in the Senate, will be sworn in Jan. 5.

Mr. Summers, who served as treasury secretary under President Clinton and is a former president of Harvard University, was known for his blunt style and was seen by some liberal Democrats as being too close to Wall Street.

When Mr. Summers‘ resignation was announced, Mr. Obama praised him for helping guide the economy “from the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s to renewed growth.”

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner remains the only original member of Mr. Obama’s economic team still in his original job.

Mr. Gibbs told CNN he did not expect a major reshuffling of the Obama Cabinet.

“I don’t expect, quite honestly, big changes,” he said. “I think we’ve had a very capable and good Cabinet that has helped move the president’s agenda forward.”

Mr. Gibbs added, “There’s obviously a lot that has to be done at Treasury to implement financial reform and at HHS to implement health care reform and I think we have a very talented team.”

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