WASHINGTON — President Obama has nominated White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew to succeed Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary.
Lew, who is known for his budget expertise, was widely expected to get the nod ahead of Thursday's official announcement. He's worked in a variety of government positions, including serving as director of the Office of Management and Budget under Obama and President Bill Clinton. In sharp contrast to his recent predecessors, Lew has not had much of a presence in the financial services industry, though he spent several years as an executive at Citigroup during the Bush administration.
"Jack Lew is a great choice for Treasury Secretary, and he is unquestionably qualified for the job. He is a well-respected, long-time public servant with impressive expertise on budgetary and fiscal issues," said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., in a statement. "It is crucial that we have a confirmed Treasury Secretary in place as we work toward a balanced agreement on the federal budget, and I hope he will be confirmed without delay."
But House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, warned that a change at the helm of the agency would need to be accompanied by spending cuts and other policy changes.
"I congratulate Mr. Lew on his nomination, but changing the nameplate on the door of the Treasury Secretary's office won't improve our economy or save our nation from impending bankruptcy. That can only happen with a needed change in this administration's economic policies," Hensarling said in a statement. "If confirmed, I invite Mr. Lew to work with us to reduce taxpayer risk in the mortgage marketplace, end the phenomenon of 'too big to fail' that was codified in the Dodd-Frank Act, and cut the sheer weight, volume, complexity and uncertainty of the federal red tape burden that makes capital more expensive and less available."