President Barack Obama will nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary Thursday, choosing a budget expert and close confidante to spearhead tough fiscal fights with Congress over the U.S. deficit, according to a source.
If confirmed by the Senate, Lew will replace Timothy Geithner, the longest serving member of Obama's original economic team, who has said he would step down.
Lew, a policy wonk, will confront a host of economic topics ranging from how best to scale back the government's role in the housing market to how to respond to China's economic heft.
But nothing will consume his time as much as the battle in Washington over how to rein in the growth of the nation's debt and put the budget on a sustainable path.
Lew has some bipartisan credentials that might help in budget struggles with Republicans in Congress.
The one-time Citigroup executive honed his political skills as a top policy adviser to Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill, who is touted as a symbol of bipartisanship because he worked with Republican President Ronald Reagan to change the tax code and the Social Security retirement program in the 1980s.
Lew's nomination will leave the position of chief of staff open. Obama's deputy national security adviser, Denis McDonough, is considered the top candidate to take on that role.
Who is Jack Lew?
-- Jacob "Jack" Lew, 57, currently serves as President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff.
-- He was director of the Office of Management and Budget for Obama and President Bill Clinton.
-- Lew was born in Queens and graduated from Forest Hills High School, Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center.
-- As special assistant to Clinton, Lew helped create Americorps, the national service program.
-- Lew is an observant Orthodox Jew.
-- If confirmed, Lew's notoriously illegible signature will appear on currency.