News / USA

Obama Nominates New Treasury Secretary

President Barack Obama, flanked by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, announces his choice of Lew to succeed, Geithner, at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.
President Barack Obama, flanked by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, announces his choice of Lew to succeed, Geithner, at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama nominated his White House chief of staff, Jack Lew, to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary Thursday.

Obama said he has complete trust in Lew, who has three decades of experience shaping U.S. economic policy.

"One reason Jack has been so effective in this town is because he is a low-key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras,” Obama said.

As the federal government struggles with budget and debt issues, Obama highlighted Lew’s experience as President Bill Clinton’s budget director during the 1990s.

Jack Lew

  • Current White House chief of staff
  • Director of Office of Management and Budget 1998-2001 and 2010-2012
  • Principal domestic policy advisor to House Speaker Thomas O'Neill from 1979 to 1987
  • Began career in Washington as a legislative aide in 1973
  • Born in New York in 1955
“Under President Clinton, he presided over three budget surpluses in a row.  So for all the talk out there about deficit reduction, making sure our books are balanced, this is the guy who did it - three times,” Obama said.

Lew said he is grateful for the opportunity to lead a key component of the administration’s financial team.

“If confirmed, I look forward to joining the Treasury Department, whose people are legendary for their skill and knowledge,” Lew said.

The president praised outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who took office in 2009, in the middle of the U.S. financial crisis. Obama said Geithner will go down in history as “one of our finest secretaries of the Treasury.”  

U.S. Cabinet nteractive graphic: http://www.voanews.com/content/pres-obama-cabinet/1581987.html

Geithner credited the president’s policies with easing the crisis.

“And you made the necessary, the hard, the politically perilous choices that saved the American people, saved American industry, saved the global economy, from a failing financial system,” Geithner said.

Lew’s background as a government budget expert differs from Geithner's experience as a banking specialist.

Patrick Socci, dean of the business school at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, says Lew’s experience is not typical of most Treasury secretaries.

“He is certainly an intelligent man, absolutely, and he certainly has certain skills, but it is just not the typical set of skills that one would expect in a secretary of the Treasury.  Either you would be an economist or you would be a high-level business person,” Socci said.

Lew’s appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, where analysts expect some opposition.  As the nomination was being announced, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama released a statement saying that Lew is not “up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity.”  Still, confirmation is widely expected.

Lew has received positive reviews from leaders of business and finance.  A statement from the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, called him “a very experienced fellow on the issues of debt, deficits and budgets.”

Lew is likely to take office shortly before three fiscal deadlines.  Partisan battles are expected over raising the government’s borrowing limit, averting automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs, and the expiration of a congressional resolution that has kept the government operating.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More