| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Obama chooses Lew to head Treasury

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew listens at a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of White House to discuss the economy, in this November 16, 2012, file photo. U.S. President Barack Obama will nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary on January 10, 2013, replacing Timothy Geithner, according to a source familiar with the matter. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

From Wire Reports
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 10:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama recently said he would love to hire a top executive into his administration. But for the job of Treasury secretary, he didn't pick a corporate executive, a famous economist or a former politician — he tapped his trusted adviser, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, an expert on the nation's ongoing budget wars.

Obama chose Lew to take over from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the president's longest-serving economic adviser, according to two people familiar with the pick. The selection of Lew signals that Obama's second term will not initially focus on big new ideas to create jobs or expand government investment in the economy.

Rather, it will involve a sustained conflict with congressional Republicans over the nation's finances. The government is likely to face a deadline to raise the $16.4 trillion federal debt ceiling no later than March 1 — as well as a series of deep and automatic spending cuts known as sequestration set to begin about the same time.

These battles will once again pit Democrats' economic vision against that of Republicans. Democrats say they want to raise taxes on the wealthy to shrink the deficit but reduce government spending sparingly so as to preserve funding for domestic priorities such as education. Republicans oppose new taxes, saying they would crimp economic growth, and favor deep cuts to spending.

The composition of Obama's second term Cabinet became clearer Wednesday, with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigning and three other members of the president's team deciding to stay on amid concerns about diversity in Obama's inner circle.

Solis, a former California congresswoman and one of the highest-ranking Hispanics in the Cabinet, said she was departing after leading the department during the economic storms of the first term. She was the nation's first Hispanic labor secretary.

A White House official said three Cabinet members — Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki — would stay on as the second term begins. It would ensure diversity among the president's leadership team — Holder is black, Sebelius is a woman and Shinseki is of Japanese-American descent.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Video prompts calls for probe of Chicago police
  2. Obama: No credible intelligence about terror plot against US
  3. Company backs away from pledge to cut drug’s $750-per-pill price
  4. U.S. troops suspended in airstrike on Afghan hospital
  5. Ads for Nazi-themed show pulled from NYC subways
  6. Military Academy bans pillow fights; 30 hurt during last one
  7. Student dies in traditional Ohio State University lake jump
  8. Obama signs $607B Defense bill but blasts GOP limits for Gitmo
  9. N.H. prep grad to appeal sex assault verdict
  10. Peanut glut poses hefty bailout tab for taxpayers
  11. ‘Crisis mode’ near at U.S.-Mexico line as nearly 5,000 children try to cross border in October