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Lew's treasury nomination sent to Senate

WASHINGTON — The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved President Barack Obama's choice of Jacob Lew to be treasury secretary and sent the nomination to the full Senate.

Lew would succeed Timothy Geithner, who completed a tumultuous four-year term in which he helped lead the administration's response to the financial crisis and recession.

The committee approved Lew's nomination, 19-5. The timing of a Senate vote is unclear.

During a three-hour confirmation hearing Feb. 13, the sharpest questions came from Republicans who pressed Lew about his tenure at Citigroup, where he was a top executive from 2006 until early 2009, a period covering the height of the financial crisis. Lew was grilled about a nearly $1 million bonus he received while Citi was being bailed out by taxpayers.

Lew, 57, most recently was Obama's chief of staff. He earlier served as Obama's budget director, a post he also held during the Clinton administration. Lew began his government service in the 1980s as an aide to House Speaker Tip O'Neill.

During his confirmation hearing, Lew signaled no major economic policy changes. He advocated a balanced approach to reducing the long-term budget deficit through spending cuts and additional tax revenue.

He said he would be open to reforms to Medicare, but he didn't spell out any details. Lew also said he would work with the committee on a rewrite of the tax code. He said tax simplification could be achieved by reducing deductions so rates could be lowered.

Obama's Cabinet

Several openings are pending in President Barack Obama's Cabinet:

Secretary of commerce: John Bryson resigned in June for health reasons. The acting secretary is Rebecca Blank.

Secretary of energy: leaving, Steven Chu

Secretary of the interior: leaving, Ken Salazar; nominated, Sally Jewel, president and chief executive of REI.

Secretary of labor: leaving, Hilda Solis

Secretary of the treasury: leaving, Timothy Geithner; nominated, Jacob Lew.

Secretary of transportation: leaving, Ray LaHood

Staying on: Eric Holder, attorney general; Thomas Vilsack, secretary of agriculture; Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services; Arne Duncan, secretary of education; Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs; Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security.


Lew's treasury nomination sent to Senate 02/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:12pm]
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