Dem senator: If Geithner quits, he might not be replaced anytime soon

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) warned Tuesday that if the Treasury secretary quits anytime soon, his position might remain unfilled.

There have been reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would leave after a deal was reached to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Warner said Geithner's post would be in danger of staying unfilled thanks to a trend of appointment confirmations stalled in Senate committees.

"Since at this point all of the nominees ... are put on hold by some of my Republican colleagues, I'm not sure we'd get to a Treasury secretary confirmation," he said on MSNBC. "Which isn't the way a government should work ... [we should] vote a guy up or down; don't leave him hanging."

Warner said he hoped that Geithner would remain in his position for the foreseeable future. "I think Secretary Geithner has navigated some very tough challenges."

In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday, Geithner dodged questions about whether he would leave his post now that the deal is done.

"I've been a little busy. I haven't had a ton of time to think about that," he said.

"I'll make that decision at the right moment," he noted.

Geithner had harsh words for the behavior of Congress during the debt-ceiling negotiations, but he also indicated that he approved of the deal passed by the House on Monday evening.

"This is a good result, but a terrible process," he said. "Confidence in the United States was absolutely damaged by this spectacle that they've seen here in Washington."

Although members of Congress might be breathing a sigh of relief at having the debt-ceiling vote behind them — the Senate is expected to pass the bill by Tuesday afternoon — Geithner isn't counting on fewer challenges ahead for the administration.

He said the near-term cuts included in the deal are modest enough that they will not hurt the already slow economic recovery. But he could not guarantee that the threat of a downgraded U.S. credit rating had been averted by the last-minute deal.

"This is in some ways a judgment on the capacity of Congress to act," Geithner said.