Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will stay in his Cabinet post through President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January, White House press secretary Jay Carney said today.
Geithner, 51, had said previously he doesn’t plan to stay at the Treasury for a second Obama term, and White House officials have said he will remain while the administration negotiates with Congress on a plan to cut the deficit and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
One of the top potential candidates to succeed him is White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, administration officials said this week. A onetime aide to former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Lew served as Office of Management and Budget director for Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
Another possible contender is Erskine Bowles, who served as Clinton’s chief of staff and was co-chairman of a bipartisan panel formed by Obama that drafted a plan to cut the deficit, the officials said.
The Obama administration and Congress are trying to avert the so-called fiscal cliff -- more than $600 billion of tax increases and federal spending cuts that are set to kick in automatically at the beginning of next year unless Congress acts. The next Treasury secretary will also be faced with cutting the $16.2 trillion public debt, in addition to seeking an overhaul of a federal tax code criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Geithner, the only remaining member of Obama’s original economic team, played a key role in the government’s taxpayer- funded bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis, when he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He took over at the Treasury in January 2009 with the economy in its worst condition in decades.
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