US President Barack Obama has nominated his chief of staff, Jack Lew, as the next treasury secretary. The president said he hoped that Lew would be able to bring opposing sides of Congress together.
Obama named Lew to replace Timothy Geithner in the Cabinet’s top economic post, praising both the outgoing treasury secretary and the newcomer.
The president, with both men standing on either side of him, said that Lew was well-qualified to take the lead in tough negotiations with Congress on spending.
"I trust his judgement," said Obama. "I value his friendship. I know very few people with greater integrity."
Obama described Lew as "a low-key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras."
He praised Geithner for his work in helping deal with the economic downturn. Geithner has made it known he does not want to serve a second term at the Treasury.
The change of post will need to be confirmed by both houses of Congress, as Obama reorganizes his cabinet for a second term of office.
The 57-year-old Lew, who previously served as White House budget chief, is likely to face some difficult questioning at a confirmation hearing for the post in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. He appears likely to win confirmation from the Senate.
On Monday, former Senator Chuck Hagel was nominated to be defense chief while counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was nominated to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
Last month, Obama last month nominated Senator John Kerry for secretary of state.
rc/ccp (AFP, AP, dpa)
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