Obama Names Lew as Treasury Secretary
Jack Lew has been involved in some of the biggest economic deals negotiated in Washington for the last 30 years. But he would be facing a lot more challenge in the coming months if he is confirmed as treasury secretary. The potential fiscal crisis will test his experience as soon as he opens his office door on the third floor of the Treasury Building.
President Barack Obama nominated Lew for the position Thursday. He has honed his skills in the field of fiscal policy by helping forge major deals regarding the budgets and Social Security for President Bill Clinton and former Speaker Tip O’Neill.
President Obama highlighted Lew’s experience when the announcement of his nomination was made. It was made in preparation for the approaching deadlines to increase the government borrowing limit, prevent spending cuts, and extend government operations.
The president is flanked by Lew and outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the White House’s East Room when he made the announcement of the nomination. It underscored the nation’s changing economic landscape. Geithner has been a longtime international finance specialist with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve who became the Treasury Secretary in 2009 at the height of the banking crisis. Lew, who is currently the White House chief of staff, is a budget expert and close Obama ally. He will tackle the struggle over deficits and debts in the coming months.
Lew has to deal with the debt ceiling, which has the most potential of damaging the nation’s economy. Failure to raise the ceiling from the current $16.4 trillion would force the government to default on its debts. Republicans demanded spending cuts for raising the debt ceiling. President Obama pledged not to negotiate over the nation’s ability to pay its debts.
President Obama praised Lew for his budget knowledge and negotiating skills. These are needed to avoid standoffs from happening.