Lew Draws Fire From Right and Left

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In a 2010 Senate hearing that has become a focal point for progressive critics, Jacob Lew, the president’s pick for Treasury Secretary, told Senator Bernie Sanders that he didn’t believe deregulation was a “proximate cause” of the financial crisis.

In this clip from Bill’s interview with economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Bill asks Krugman what he thinks of Lew’s views on the financial crisis, and what his appointment might mean in terms of future Wall Street regulation.

Opposition to Lew is coming from both the left and the right. Senator Sanders announced Thursday that he won’t be supporting Lew’s nomination. And in a rare instance of agreement across the aisle, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one the Senate’s most conservative members, joined Sanders in his opposition. His objection stems from a 2010 appearance that Lew, then the head of the administration’s Office of Management and Budget, made in front of the Senate Budget Committee in which he claimed that Obama’s proposed budget wouldn’t add to the deficit. In a statement, Sessions called Lew’s testimony “so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies” him for the job. Sessions believes his nomination will be blocked.

Sanders thinks Lew will be confirmed, but says it will happen without his vote. “As a supporter of the president, I remain extremely concerned that virtually all of his key economic advisers have come from Wall Street,” Sanders said.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Lew suckered the R’s into the cliff deal.
    He will be better than Geithner. No question.

  • Owen Johnson

    I don’t believe the answer to the dangers brought by the current trends in the financial industry is another Treasury Secretary who is from that industry. We’ve seen what has happened with high-level appointments to the FDA and USDA regarding their supposed functions as protectors of the American consumer, in addition to the policies of Tim Geitner as Treasury Secretary. While, as Mark Neal said, he may well be better than Geitner, that’s like saying I’d rather be hit with a mortar round than a Howitzer shell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/owsend Dwight Owsen

    President Obama as every modern president needs a boatload of politicial contributions as well as voters who make an extra effort to come out and put them in office. Lew may be some sort of compromise here.

  • http://twitter.com/kells1001 Randy Lockdall

    A vote for more political meandering and compromising is not what got us here, however it is certainly keeping us from the truth and only the truth will allow us to make changes that truly benefit the Republic.