POLITICS

Jack Lew confirmed by senate to be Treasury secretary

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate confirmed Jacob Lew to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Barack Obama's choice of a budget expert at a time when Congress and the White House are at odds over sharp government spending cuts.

The Senate voted 71-26 to support the nomination.

Lew, 57, had most recently served as Obama's chief of staff. He succeeds Timothy Geithner, who completed a tumultuous four-year term in which he helped lead the administration's response to the financial crisis and recession.

Lew takes over just before automatic spending cuts are set to take effect. He's likely to take part in any negotiations to reverse the cuts, and also in key budget talks next month to continue funding the government.

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