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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