WASHINGTON (January 10, 2013)--President Barack Obama announced Thursday he’s nominating White House Chief of Staff as his next Treasury secretary, pointing to Lew’s past work of balancing budgets during the Clinton administration.
The president said he feels "bittersweet" about losing Lew as his chief of staff but said "my loss will be the nation's gain."
He noted that Lew was budget director during the Clinton administration when the budget ran a surplus for three years.
Lew would take over Treasury at a time when the administration is preparing for a new fight with congressional Republicans over the nation's debt and deficits.
If confirmed, he would replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who led the department through the economic turmoil of the first term.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement that Lew deserves a fair hearing, but said, “Texans deserve to hear the president’s plan for cutting spending and balancing our budget.”
“Under Jack Lew’s leadership at the Office of Management and Budget, we saw trillion dollar deficits and no serious attempt to rein in spending,” he said.
“As President Obama's Chief of Staff, we've seen on-going dilatory tactics as the nation stares down one fiscal crisis after another,” he said.
Lew's nomination means a new signature would be added to the dollar bill.
Lew's starts off with a soft "J'' but is followed by seven loopy scribbles, making it difficult to read.
Mr. Obama said at the nomination ceremony that he never noticed the signature before, even though Lew is his chief of staff, but after looking at "I considered rescinding my offer to appoint him."