Obama to nominate Lew as Treasury chief Thursday

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

President Barack Obama will nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary, choosing a budget expert and close confidante to spearhead tough fiscal fights with Congress over the U.S. deficit.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lew will replace Timothy Geithner, the longest serving member of Obama’s original economic team, who has said he would step down after one term.

A source familiar with the matter said Lew, who had been widely expected to be tapped for the role, will be nominated on Thursday.

Lew served as budget director for Obama and for former President Bill Clinton.

A State Department deputy secretary early in Obama’s first term, he is a 57-year-old policy wonk. He will have to confront a host of tricky economic topics ranging from how best to scale back the government’s role in the housing market to how to respond to China’s economic heft.

But nothing will consume his time as much as the battle in Washington over how to rein in the growth of the nation’s debt and put the budget on a sustainable path.

Even though he is mistrusted by a number of Republicans, Lew has some bipartisan credentials that might help in budget struggles with Republicans in Congress.

The one-time Citigroup executive honed his political skills as a top policy adviser to Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who is touted as a symbol of bipartisanship because he worked with Republican President Ronald Reagan to change the tax code and the Social Security retirement program in the 1980s.

“Jack is more concerned about what’s fair than any personal attention or credit,” said Pamela Jackson, who worked with Lew when O’Neill was speaker. “He was an integral and important part of those (tax policy and Social Security) negotiations as a trusted adviser to the speaker,” she said.

Lew is an orthodox Jew and observes the Sabbath holiday, which requires him not to work, including answering phones, between Friday evenings and sunset on Saturday. During Obama’s re-election campaign, he campaigned for the president with Jewish constituents in Florida.

His nomination will leave the position of chief of staff open. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Denis McDonough, is considered the top candidate to take on that role.

LOOMING BUDGET DEADLINES

Three fiscal deadlines loom.

By the end of February, Congress must raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on how much the Treasury can borrow or risk a damaging debt default.

On March 1, deep automatic spending cuts to defense and to a wide swath of domestic programs start to go into effect unless Congress acts.

And at the end of March, a stop-gap funding measure expires and the government could be forced to shut down if Congress does not approve another bill to fund federal operations.

Lew helped lead budget talks with Congress under Clinton and spearheaded the “Budget Control Act” negotiations under Obama.

Geithner, who survived calls for his resignation and bore the brunt of the criticism for how the Obama administration handled the financial crisis, managed to win over Republican lawmakers in his four years as treasury secretary.

Late last year, Obama picked Geithner over Lew to lead talks with Congress to avert the New Year’s day “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and spending cuts. Lew had angered key Republicans during budget negotiations in 2011.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.