WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to serve as the next Treasury Secretary by a vote of 71 to 26 on Wednesday night.

Lew, who will be the 76th Treasury Secretary, has held a number of key government positions, including serving as director for the Office of Management and Budget twice. The Senate Finance Committee voted in favor of Lew on Tuesday, after Republicans on the panel grilled him at a confirmation hearing earlier this month about his tenure at Citigroup and some off-shore investments.

President Obama praised Lew's breadth of experience, especially on budget issues, which are expected to remain a major national focus in coming months.

"I am pleased that the Senate took bipartisan action today to confirm Jack Lew as our nation's next Treasury Secretary. At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack. As my Chief of Staff, Jack was by my side as we confronted our nation's toughest challenges," said Obama in a statement on Wednesday. "His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in some of the toughest jobs in Washington. And I will continue to rely on his advice and sound judgment as we work to create good, middle-class jobs, provide more people with the skills those jobs require, and ensure every hardworking American can earn a decent living."

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