POLITICS
01/10/2013 01:48 pm ET | Updated Jan 10, 2013

Jack Lew Nominated For Treasury Secretary By President Obama

President Barack Obama has nominated White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary.

Lew, a leading federal budget expert, will replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Obama praised Geithner before formally nominating Lew.

"When the history books are written, Tim Geithner's gonna go down as one of our finest secretaries of the Treasury," Obama said.

Obama nominated Lew on Thursday afternoon, continuing to fill out his second-term Cabinet. Other recent nominations include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for Secretary of State and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for Secretary of Defense.

"One reason Jack has been so effective in this town is because he's a low-key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras," Obama said of Lew, who is known for working behind the scenes.

Lew, who previously served as White House budget director during the Clinton administration, has been the White House chief of staff since January 2012. Obama called Lew's departure from the chief of staff position "bittersweet."

"It's really working out for me to have him here in the White House, but my loss will be the nation's gain," Obama said.

The AP reports:

WASHINGTON — 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.

UPDATE -- 2:20 p.m.: The Washington Post's Zachary Goldfarb reports Geithner's last day as Treasury Secretary will be January 25.

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