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Lew is Obama’s treasury pick

Jack Lew.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama today announced his nomination of White House chief of staff and budget expert Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, a White House official said.

Lew, 57, will take the lead on difficult negotiations with Congress on how to cut the nation’s looming debt and rein in spending – a central challenge for Obama’s second term.

Lew is expected to be confirmed by the senate. He will take over from Timothy Geithner.

Denis McDonough, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, is the leading candidate to replace Lew as chief of staff.

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Lew was budget director for Obama and for former President Bill Clinton. He led 2011 talks with congress that preceded approval of an increase in the US debt ceiling.

“Over the past more than quarter of a century, Jack Lew has been an integral part of some of the most important budgetary, financial and fiscal agreements … in Washington,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday, after reports broke that Lew would be Obama’s choice.

Some analysts have questioned whether Lew has enough experience working on international financial issues and on banking regulations. (Reuters)

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