Daily Dispatches
Jack Lew
Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, File
Jack Lew

Jack Lew likely choice for Treasury

Politics

Administration officials say President Barack Obama plans to nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew to serve as Treasury secretary in his second administration.

The president plans to make the nomination official later this week.

Lew, 57, served twice as head of the Office of Management and Budget, once under former President Bill Clinton and once under President Obama. He also served the current administration in the U.S. State Department, where he oversaw international economic issues. He became the president’s chief of staff in January 2012.

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In the private sector, Lew previously worked for Citigroup’s wealth management branch. 

Although one of the president’s cabinet picks—former Sen. Chuck Hagel—likely will face some opposition in the Senate, Lew is not expected to cause consternation among Republican lawmakers. He is considered a pragmatic liberal and has played key roles in negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill, most recently during the “fiscal cliff” debate.

Lew, an observant Jew who doesn't work on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, is well-liked in Washington by both Democrats and Republicans.

But, if confirmed, he won’t have much time to ease into his new job. Toward the end of February, lawmakers must again face the prospect of raising the federal borrowing limit or going into default. The last debate over the debt limit created the fiscal cliff that caused such a furor in December.

In March, the government also faces two budget deadlines, one that will bring $110 billion in automatic spending cuts and another to adopt a full budget.

Lew will be the fourth Cabinet nominee announced by the president. Earlier this month, Obama nominated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to serve as secretary of state, Hagel to head the Pentagon, and John Brennan as CIA director.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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