Jack Lew confirmed as new US Treasury Secretary

Jack Lew confirmed as new US Treasury Secretary Washington: The US Senate confirmed Obama's former chief of staff Jack Lew as the country's 76th Treasury Secretary.

Lew, 57, who also held the position of Director of the Office of Management and Budget, replaces Timothy Geithner as the Treasury Secretary.

The US senate voted 71-26 with the support from 20 republicans.

"At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack," Obama said in a statement on Wednesday.

"His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in some of the toughest jobs in Washington," he said.

"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," Obama said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Lew is an outstanding public servant with the experience and ability to guide the nation's economy towards long-term growth and prosperity for the middle class.

"His work under two presidents and years of experience on Capitol Hill give him the tools necessary to succeed in this critically important and difficult job," he said.

"Jack's ability to work with people of different opinions and his belief in fiscal responsibility were evident when he helped President Clinton balance the budget and generate record surpluses," Reid said.

Senator Tom Carper, a member of the Senate Finance Committee said Lew has the unique combination of private and public sector experience that make him the right man to lead the Treasury Department during this critical time.

"With decades of experience on Capitol Hill, in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations and within the business community, he knows what needs to be done to make our economic recovery more robust and to put our country on a sustainable fiscal path," Carper said.

However opposing his nomination, Senator Chuck Grassley said that the Senate does not have answers to basic factual questions about Lew.

"How can we make an informed choice on his nomination? For example, when Mr Lew worked at tax-exempt New York University, he was given a subsidized USD 1.4 million mortgage. Now, Mr Lew claims that he cannot remember the interest rate he paid on his USD 1.4 million mortgage that tax-exempt New York University gave him," Grassley said and alleged that despite repeated request Lew did not provide him with the information.

PTI