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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid