Jack Lew confirmed as new US Treasury Secretary

The US Senate confirmed Obama's former chief of staff Jack Lew as the country's 76th Treasury Secretary.

Lew, 57, who also held the position of Director of the Office of Management and Budget, replaces Timothy Geithner as the Treasury Secretary.

The US senate voted 71-26 with the support from 20 republicans.
"At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack," Obama said in a statement yesterday.

"His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in some of the toughest jobs in Washington," he said.

"I will continue to rely on his advice and sound judgment as we work to create good, middle-class jobs, provide more people with the skills those jobs require, and ensure every hardworking American can earn a decent living," Obama said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Lew is an outstanding public servant with the experience and ability to guide the nation's economy towards long-term growth and prosperity for the middle class.

"His work under two presidents and years of experience on Capitol Hill give him the tools necessary to succeed in this critically important and difficult job," he said.

"Jack's ability to work with people of different opinions and his belief in fiscal responsibility were evident when he helped President Clinton balance the budget and generate record surpluses," Reid said.

Senator Tom Carper, a member of the Senate Finance Committee said Lew has the unique combination of private and public sector experience that make him the right man to lead the Treasury Department during this critical time.

"With decades of experience on Capitol Hill, in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations and within the business community, he knows what needs to be done to make our economic recovery more robust and to put our country on a sustainable fiscal path," Carper said.

However opposing his nomination, Senator Chuck Grassley said that the Senate does not have answers to basic factual questions about Lew.

"How can we make an informed choice on his nomination? For example, when Mr Lew worked at tax-exempt New York University, he was given a subsidized USD 1.4 million mortgage.

Now, Mr Lew claims that he cannot remember the interest rate he paid on his USD 1.4 million mortgage that tax-exempt New York University gave him," Grassley said and alleged that despite repeated request Lew did not provide him with the information.

Obama nominated Lew in January 2013 to succeed Timothy F Geithner. Prior to being the White House Chief of Staff, he was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position he also held in President Clinton's Cabinet from 1998 to 2001.

Before returning to OMB in 2010, Lew first joined the Obama Administration as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

Before joining the State Department, Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer for two different Citigroup business units.

Prior to that, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York University, where he was responsible for budget, finance, and operations, and served as a professor of public administration.

From 2004 through 2008, Lew served on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service and chaired its Management, Administration, and Governance Committee.

As OMB Director from 1998 to 2001, Lew led the Administration budget team and served as a member of the National Security Council.

During his tenure at OMB, the US budget operated at a surplus for three consecutive years.

Earlier, Lew served as OMB's Deputy Director and was a member of the negotiating team that reached a bipartisan agreement to balance the budget. As Special Assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, Lew helped design Americorps, the national service program.

Lew began his career in Washington in 1973 as a legislative aide.  From 1979 to 1987, he was a principal domestic policy advisor to House Speaker Thomas P O'Neill, Jr, when he served the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as Assistant Director and then Executive Director.

He was the Speaker's liaison to the Greenspan Commission, which negotiated a bipartisan solution to extend the solvency of Social Security in 1983, and he was responsible for domestic and economic issues, including Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations, and energy issues.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Lew co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York and was on the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project, and the Tobin Project.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

As the Secretary of the Treasury, Lew will be the principal economic advisor to the President on domestic and international financial, economic, and tax issues, and will lead the Department in promoting a strong economy, fiscal sustainability and stability in the global financial system.

Lew will also serve as Chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

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