The last remaining member of President Obama’s first-term economic team, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, has told White House officials that his tenure is over. As Geithner will end his term at the end of the month, the position has been offered to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew.
Obama’s Treasury appointment is of particular importance as continuing fiscal problems need the department’s attention. The United States reached the statutory limit on the government’s public debt on December 31, and the next secretary will have to work with Congress to negotiate terms that will raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. Since the limit was hit, the Treasury Department has used so-called “extraordinary measures” to finance the government’s operations, but those means can only fund spending until mid-February, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Therefore, Lew’s experience will be carefully examined by Congress before the legislative body decides whether to confirm Obama’s appointment. Previously, Lew has served as a two-time director of the Office of Management and Budget and as an aid to former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill. While most of his experience comes from government positions, he also spent several years as a managing director for Citigroup (NYSE:C) before becoming part of Obama’s administration.
Sources familiar with the White House’s plans told Bloomberg that the president will name Lew as his choice on Thursday. Denis McDonough, the current deputy national security advisor, and Ron Klain, who acted as Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, are leading candidates to fill his former post.
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