Senate committee to vote on Treasury nominee Jack Lew
The US Senate Finance Committee said it will vote Tuesday on the appointment of Jack Lew — who played an active role in talks that led to massive looming spending cuts — as Treasury secretary.
Lew, who was tapped last month to succeed Timothy Geithner in the key cabinet position, was actively involved in the 2011 budget negotiations that led to the creation of the so-called sequester set to take effect on Friday.
The $85 billion of automatic across-the-board cuts were designed to be so damaging that feuding lawmakers would have to compromise on a fiscal deal to rein in the country’s soaring debt.
But no such deal has been reached, with Republicans and Democrats instead vying to shift the blame for the painful cuts onto the other party.
The committee’s approval of Lew’s nomination would be followed by a full Senate vote, the date of which has yet to be announced.
Prominent Republican Senator Richard Shelby told a local newspaper last week he would approve Lew’s nomination.
But Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, a member of the finance committee, has asked that Lew provide more information about the compensation he received in the early 2000s as executive vice president of New York University.
If Republicans move to block Lew, Democrats would need to assemble a “supermajority” of 60 out of 100 senators to push the appointment through.
Lew previously served as director of the office of management and budget during the Clinton and Obama administrations.