It is a well known fact that Timothy Geithner wants to step down as the Treasury Secretary. Various key members of the Obama team are believed to be on the same boat, but as Geithner have delayed their decisions until after the most sensitive matters are out of the way. For Geithner that was the fiscal cliff debate, which did not resolve the debt ceiling issues which he is now tasked with pushing through.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s plans to leave near the end of January put the White House in a tricky spot, depriving the Obama administration of its longest-serving economic adviser for its next fiscal showdown with Congress.
Geithner, who spent his years as Treasury secretary battling the financial crisis and then fighting with Republican lawmakers in 2011 over raising the debt ceiling, has wanted to leave government service for some time.
The Treasury Department said Geithner would stick to his previously announced schedule to stay until sometime around the Jan. 21 inauguration. 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 Dec. 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.
A statement clarifying his positions and estimated departure date would do wonders to calm the market.