The United States’ Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jacob Lew to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Barack Obama’s choice of a budget expert at a time when Congress and the White House are at odds over sharp government spending cuts.
The vote was 71 to 26 to support the nomination. A total of 25 Republicans and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted against Lew’s confirmation.
Lew, 57, had most recently served as Obama’s chief of staff. He succeeds Timothy Geithner, who completed a tumultuous four-year term in which he helped lead the administration’s response to the financial crisis and recession.
Lew is scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday. He will take over just one day before automatic spending cuts are set to take effect. He’s likely to take part in any negotiations to reverse the cuts, and also in key budget talks next month to continue funding the government.
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