Jan 11 2013

What Obama’s Nomination of Jack Lew For Treasury Secretary Means

President Obama has nominated his Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, as Federal Treasury Secretary, replacing Timothy Geither, also a former Chief of Staff. Lew is former head of the Office on Management and Budget under both Presidents Clinton and Obama. He has also worked at the State Department and on Wall Street, as part of Citigroup’s “Wealth Management Branch.”

In his role as White House Chief of Staff, Jack Lew has been seen as a “pragmatic liberal” (The Guardian), who helped garner agreement on the recent “fiscal cliff” crisis.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has vowed not to vote for Lew’s nomination, saying “we need a treasury secretary who is prepared to stand up to corporate America and their powerful lobbyists and fight for policies that protect the working families in our country. I do not believe Mr. Lew is that person.”

If Jack Lew is confirmed as Treasury Secretary, his immediate agenda items in his new position would include the raising of the debt ceiling – which promises to turn into another political battle of epic proportions – the sequestration or trigger cuts put in motion (and briefly postponed) as a result of debt ceiling negotiations, and the March deadline for Congress to approve a government budget.

Hundreds of thousands of progressives earlier this week signed onto a petition demanding that Obama consider nominating Nobel prize winning economist and New York Times writer Paul Krugman as Treasury Secretary. Predictably, there was no response to the petition from Obama or the White House.

GUEST: Sarah Anderson, Global economy project director at the Institute for Policy Studies

Click here to read Sarah Andersen’s article.

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