Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is strongly opposed to Lazard investment banker Antonio Weiss getting a senior spot with the US Treasury Department. To avoid a bruising confirmation that may have bolstered Warren’s profile at the expense of the Obama White House, Weiss has asked that his name be withdrawn and is settling for a less lofty spot.
Now, “Weiss will be circumventing Senate confirmation and accepting a different job with lesser authority at the Treasury, as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.” This is despite the fact that many Democrats feel Weiss is well-suited for the more senior position.
A number of former Treasury officials thought Warren was way out of line, and that Weiss’ experience was perfect for the position he was being nominated for.
For its part, the White House was reportedly standing by Weiss. That’s reflected in this statement from last month: “This is somebody who has very good knowledge of the way that the financial markets work, and that is critically important.” However, with Warren on the warpath against Weiss, evidently that wasn’t enough.
On Monday, the WH released the following statement.
Over the weekend, Mr. Weiss asked the White House not to re-nominate him to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. Mr. Weiss made the request to avoid the distraction of the lengthy confirmation process that his renomination would likely entail. We continue to believe that Mr. Weiss is an extremely well-qualified individual, who is committed to the policy goals of this Administration and firmly supports the Administration’s policies on fostering economic growth and supporting our middle class. We are pleased that he has accepted the role of counselor to the Treasury secretary.