Geithner’s exit to put Obama in a tricky spot
Geithner, who spent his years as treasury secretary battling the financial crisis and then fighting with Republican lawmakers in 2011 over raising the US debt ceiling, has wanted to leave government service for some time.
The treasury department said Geithner “has previously stated that he plans to be at Treasury until around” the January 21 inauguration.
The department said it did not plan to make any further announcements about the timing of Geithner’s departure until after his successor is named. Bloomberg News reported that Geithner would leave at the end of January.
Obama chose Geithner to lead the just-ended negotiations with Congress to avert the December 31 fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes that threatened to push the economy back into recession.
But the deal, which preserved most of the Bush-era tax breaks for Americans, sets up a series of crucial fiscal deadlines by delaying automatic spending cuts until March 1 and not increasing the government’s borrowing limit.
That puts Obama in the tough spot of nominating another Treasury secretary and asking the Senate to approve his choice when lawmakers are in the middle of another budget battle.
“The confirmation process will be nasty regardless as it will be a referendum on Obama’s economic and deficit plans,” said Chris Krueger, a policy analyst with Guggenheim Partners.
Geithner has already resorted
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