Obama to Tap Jack Lew to Head Treasury
President Obama is set to nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, choosing a longtime expert on the nation’s budget challenges, as the country faces an imminent battle over the debt limit, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Lew previously served as Obama’s budget director and a senior State Department official. He also was budget director during the Clinton administration and has been negotiating bipartisan compromises over taxes and spending since the 1980s, when he was a top aide to then-House Speaker Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.).
Lew’s nomination means that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Obama’s longest-serving economic adviser, will step down, likely by the end of the month.
Lew will be taking over Treasury at a time of serious challenges to the nation’s economic picture. Congress is facing a battle over raising the $16.4 trillion debt limit, as well as a clash over how to stop deep spending cuts, which are set to take effect in early March. A continuing resolution funding the government expires later that month, setting the stage for battle that could lead to a government shutdown.
The nomination also means that Obama will have to choose a new chief of staff. Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Biden, is among the rumored candidates, as is Denis McDonough, a deputy national security adviser.
Lew’s nomination is the latest as Obama rounds out his second-term team. This week, he nominated former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as his next secretary of defense and counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan as director of the CIA.
All the wingnuts who were shrieking and screaming that Chuck Hagel is an Anti-Semite!1! and Obama is an Anti-Semite!1! OBAMA TOTALLY PWNZ U.