Lew has been the administration’s wonk-in-chief in its battles with the GOP on spending and the debt — issues that will continue to dominate this year considering the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits will expire at the end of February, while the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts are all on track to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Obama said Lew will “make sure that we don’t miss a beat” and he noted his extensive budget experience as well as his foreign policy chops having served in the State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer released a statement indicating that Lew would finish Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget before taking over at the White House, but he indicated that a decision on who would replace Lew has not been made.
“Jack will be staying at OMB to finish the 2013 budget. There is a very talented and committed senior team here at OMB. Whatever decision the President makes about who is to lead the agency, there will be a continuity of leadership at the highest levels,” Baer said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.