Senate approves Lew as new Treasury chief

Reuters News

2/26/2013 10:44:45 AM - Reuters News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jack Lew as President Barack Obama's new treasury secretary, putting the former White House chief of staff in the middle of a bitter political fight over the government's budget.

Senators backed Lew in a 71-26 vote, with the nominee capturing the votes of all 50 Democrats present. Some Republicans had expressed misgivings about Lew's perks from previous employers Citigroup and New York University.

Lew's most pressing task will be to find a compromise to lessen the economic blow from $85 billion in government spending cuts that are set to kick in on Friday.

(This story corrects number of Democrats voting to 50 from 53 in Feb. 27 story)

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Vicki Allen)