President Obama is expected to announce this week that he's chosen his chief of staff Jacob Lew to be his next Treasury secretary. He will replace outgoing Secretary Timothy Geithner as the White House and congressional lawmakers start a new debate over how to avert another fiscal cliff — the nation's debt ceiling.
But Lew is no stranger to such battles and, according to the Associated Press, was a key player in the last fiscal cliff crisis. In addition to top posts at Citigroup and the State Department, he also has led the Office of Management and Budget under both Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
Other deadlines he will soon face will come at the beginning of March when automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs are scheduled to take place if Congress doesn't negotiate a budget deal. Also, on March 27, the congressional resolution that has kept the federal government ticking along without a budget expires.
"I think Wall Street would have preferred someone with more financial market specialization, but Lew is being brought in because he knows the budget," economist David Wyss told AP. "Clearly, Obama has decided that his priority in a second term will be the budget."
Lew, who has served as White House chief of staff since last January, is well liked on both sides of the aisle. He is expected to be easily confirmed and jokes about his bizarrely bad signature, which will appear on dollar bills once he's confirmed, are already making the rounds.
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