On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 71-26 to confirm Jack Lew as the next Treasury Secretary of the United States.
Twenty Republicans joined Democrats to confirm Lew by a greater margin than his predecessor, Timothy Geithner.
Leading the conservative charge against Obama’s former Office of Management and Budget director was Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “I rate Mr. Lew’s performance as an F,” said Sessions on the Senate floor. Sessions said Lew’s past misleading statements about the nation’s debt trajectory made while Lew was OMB Director “amounted to the greatest financial misrepresentation concerning the finances of this nation ever made.”
Sen. Sessions closed his remarks with an impassioned plea: “I would appeal to my colleagues to oppose Mr. Lew,” said Sessions. “I would appeal to my colleagues to defend the integrity of the Senate, to defend the right of our constituents to hear the truth from government officials, and to defend the idea, the very concept, of truth itself.”
Joining Sessions in opposing the Jack Lew nomination were the following senators:
The following twenty Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats to support Jack Lew becoming the nation’s next Treasury Secretary:
The Lew confirmation hearings revealed that the Obama nominee received a nearly $950,000 bonus just days after his employer Citigroup received billions in a taxpayer-funded bailout and held $56,000 in Cayman Islands accounts—actions Obama has previously demonized. Other revelations included: a student-loan kickback scheme with Citigroup that was approved during Lew’s tenure as New York University Vice President of Operations—before he then left to work for Citigroup; a strange severance payment to Lew from NYU despite the fact that he voluntarily resigned; and a curious clause in his Citigroup contract that included a bonus guarantee rewarding him if he landed a “high level position with the United States government or regulatory body.”
“Jack was by my side as we confronted our nation’s toughest challenges,” said President Barack Obama on Wednesday. “I will continue to rely on his advice and sound judgment as we work to create good, middle-class jobs, provide more people with the skills those jobs require, and ensure every hardworking American can earn a decent living.”