White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew was officially nominated Thursday by President Obama to be the next Treasury secretary.
Before taking over as chief as staff, Lew was director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, a position he also held under President Bill Clinton. Lew is said to be a loyalist to Obama and a close member of his inner circle.
The Hill, calling Lew “a staunch liberal and defender of entitlements programs,” quoted Obama as saying of his chief of staff: “Over the years, he has built a reputation as a master of policy who can work with members of both parties and forge principled compromises.”
In what is becoming increasingly common with Obama’s nominations, some Senate Republicans are vocally opposed to Lew’s nomination. The Hill reported Wednesday that Sen. Jeff Sessions released a draft statement saying, “Jack Lew must never be Secretary of Treasury. His testimony before the Senate Budget Committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies.”
Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, has taken issue with Lew’s testimony that Obama’s 2012 budget would not add to the national debt, calling it the “most direct and important false assertion during my entire time in Washington.”
Session’s statement, received early by The Hill, said:
It’s time for a Secretary of Treasury to look the American people in the eye and lay out an economic plan for America that will end our debt path that has endangered our future and which will find support among the American people and the world’s financial community.
At this time of unprecedented slow growth, high unemployment, and huge deficits, we need a Secretary of Treasury that the American people, the Congress, and the world will know is up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity not the path to decline. Jack Lew is not that man.
Adding insult to injury is what has become a subject of mockery even for the president: Lew’s bizarre, “loopy” signature. Honestly, there isn’t one single legible letter, a fact Obama poked fun at when nominating Lew for the job. It would be funny if not for the fact that, if confirmed, Lew’s signature would grace our dollar bills. The illegible curlicue signature is a fitting reflection of just how quickly the dollar’s value is spiraling these days.
Watch President Obama tell Lew to clean up his signature:
Sen. Sessions comments to Greta Van Susteren here: