President Barack Obama is announcing Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew, pointing to his past work of balancing budgets during the Clinton administration.
The president says he feels "bittersweet" about losing Lew as his White House chief of staff but says "my loss will be the nation's gain."
He notes that Lew was budget director during the Clinton administration, when the budget ran a surplus for three years.
Lew is taking over Treasury as the administration prepares for a new fight with congressional Republicans over the nation's debt and deficits.
If confirmed, he will replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who led the department through the economic turmoil of the first term. (AP)
Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after President Obama nominated Jack Lew.
"President Obama has made an outstanding choice. Few people understand our nation's economy, and how our government affects it, better than Jack Lew. His 30 years of work on economic issues, under two presidents and in Congress, have given him the expertise and experience necessary to succeed in this critically important and difficult job.
"Jack knows how to work with people of very different perspectives in a calm and even-handed way. He also is a man of principle who believes in fiscal responsibility, and helped President Clinton balance the budget and generate record surpluses. At the same time, Jack always remembers that abstract debates in Washington affect real people with real needs. Jack has always worked to serve all Americans, especially those not represented by lobbyists and who need help the most.
"I expect the Senate will give Jack a fair and prompt confirmation process. A selfless public servant such as Jack deserves it, especially at a time when our nation needs leaders with his talent and experience."
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