Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reportedly plans to step down at the end of January even if lawmakers don’t reach an agreement on the debt ceiling debate.
Geithner, the only original member of President Obama’s economic team still in place, has signaled to White House officials that he will leave at the end of the month, Bloomberg reports, citing “two people familiar with the matter.”
It’s rumored that Geithner has been trying to leave his post for some time. Bloomberg reported in June 2011 that he was looking to step down after the debt ceiling debate. Obama reportedly went to great lengths to convince Geithner -- who was a key negotiator in both the debt ceiling debate and the recent "fiscal cliff" talks -- to stay on for the rest of his first term.
The Treasury secretary told Bloomberg’s Trish Regan early last year that he wouldn’t stay on if Obama won a second term. The White House has said that Geithner will stay on at least through Obama’s inauguration, according Reuters.
That would be before the February debate over raising the debt ceiling begins in earnest, a fight in which the White House could use Geithner’s help. Like in 2011, Congressional Republicans may hold the debt ceiling hostage in an effort to secure spending cuts that they didn’t win in the fiscal cliff talks, according to The New York Times. Still, Bloomberg reports, Geithner is unlikely to change his plans to leave.
With Geithner’s departure looking imminent, speculation has been swirling about his successor. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is rumored to be the most likely to take over the post, but media reports have floated other names including American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.