Jack Lew confirmed as new US Treasury secretary
President Barack Obama's former chief of staff Jack Lew was confirmed Wednesday as the next US Treasury secretary, taking over a key portfolio at a time of deadlock over the US budget and debt. The US Senate voted 71-26 - with support from 20 Republicans - to confirm Lew, a former White House budget director and Wall Street executive, providing Obama with a second new cabinet appointment approval in as many days.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013
The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon, after a contentious, seven-week process. While Hagel's confirmation was marked by partisan acrimony and delays, Lew's nomination by contrast sailed through, just one day after the Finance Committee gave its approval. The president issued a swift thanks to the Senate for its bipartisan action.
"At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack," Obama said in a statement shortly after the vote. "As my chief of staff, Jack was by my side as we confronted our nation's toughest challenges," Obama said, hailing Lew as "a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle."