WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama has named one of his economics advisers to the No. 2 post at the Treasury Department and will keep a Bush administration appointee in another top job, the White House announced Monday.
Obama has picked Neal Wolin, an insurance executive who now serves as a White House adviser, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's deputy, the White House said. He also named Lael Brainard, a global economics specialist at the Brookings Institution, as the department's undersecretary for international affairs, and will keep Stuart Levey as the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
The moves will beef up staff in the Cabinet agency that is handling much of the Obama administration's economic recovery efforts. Monday's announcements are aimed at filling three of the four top posts in the Treasury Department that require Senate confirmation, the White House said.
"I am grateful for the service of these dedicated and talented
individuals and have the highest confidence that, under the leadership of Secretary Geithner, they will serve the American people well as we tackle the challenges ahead of us," Obama said in a written statement.
Levey was the first person to hold the job of undersecretary in charge of disrupting the financial networks behind terrorism, weapons proliferation and drug trafficking. Former President George Bush appointed him to the post after its creation in 2004, and he will not have to face a new confirmation hearing, the White House said.
In an interview that aired over the weekend, Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" that two other people had withdrawn from consideration for the deputy secretary's job.
Obama, who has seen three other Cabinet nominees withdraw their names amid controversy, told CBS the confirmation process has "gotten tougher" in the era of 24-hour news.
"And a lot of people who we think are about to serve in the
administration and Treasury suddenly say, 'Well, you know what? I don't want to go through some of the scrutiny, embarrassment, in addition to taking huge cuts in pay,' " he said.
now get to work
Maybe by 2012 his cabinet will be complete. Making America wait for a full cabinet is a too high a price to pay in exchange for the vanity / bragging points for excessively restrictive "ethics" rules. The most important thing is that the job is done by the most competent people with integrity, honesty and tranparency. The war against lobbyists was stupid to begin with.