Senate Republicans are demanding the administration hand over all documents related to Jack LewJack LewWyden seeks IRS info on firms linked to Panama Papers Treasury issues rules cracking down on offshore tax deals Overnight Finance: Jobless claims near record low | Cops bust IRS phone scam in India | Republican demands Iran sanctions docs MORE's failure, when he was head of the Office of Management and Budget, to comply with a law aimed at ensuring Medicare's solvency.
The demand, led by Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsMcCain: Accepting election results is 'American way' GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R-Ala.), is the latest sign the GOP may be intent on building a case against Lew, who was tapped by President Obama earlier this month to replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Lew has served most recently as Obama's chief of staff.
Most GOP senators haven't said how they would vote, but those who have are expressing reservations about Lew, who irritated Republicans during last summer's debt talks. Sessions has said Lew "must never" be Treasury secretary and has criticized the former top Obama aide for submitting budgets that failed to receive any votes in Congress.
Sessions has also accused Lew of misrepresenting Obama's 2012 budget by saying that it would not add to the debt, a claim the Alabama senator pegged as the "greatest financial misrepresentation in history."
Under current law, the president must submit a legislative proposal to Congress that resolves Medicare funding issues whenever the Medicare Trustees release a warning that the program is in financial trouble.
Funding warnings have been issued in each of the last four years, but Obama has not sent such legislation. When he was director of OMB, Lew was responsible for meeting this requirement.
"The administration has failed each of the last four years to respond to these funding warnings despite receiving several communications from Congress urging them to comply with his unambiguous legal requirement," the senators wrote to acting OMB Director Jeff Zients in a letter sent over the weekend. "In two of those four years, 2010 and 2011, Mr. Lew was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the entity directly responsible for drafting and submitting fiscal proposals to Congress and complying with federal budget law."
Republicans also noted that if Lew was to become the next Treasury secretary, he would be in charge of issuing Medicare solvency warnings. The Treasury secretary acts as the Chair of the Board of Medicare Trustees.
As a result, Republicans asked for all documents related to the administration's response to the "Medicare trigger" so that they may "properly consider Mr. Lew's nomination."
The letter also asked the administration to comply immediately with the law by submitting a "detailed legislative proposal responsible to the latest Medicare funding warning to bring the administration into compliance with federal law."
The letter was signed by Sessions, Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteHigh anxiety for GOP Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support NH poll: Dem challenger pulls ahead of Ayotte MORE (R-N.H.), Mike CrapoMike CrapoSenators urge resolution of US, Canada softwood lumber deal GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election More Senate Republicans pressure Treasury over debt-equity rules MORE (R-Idaho), Mike EnziMike EnziGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Report: Feds spend billions on PR Restive GOP freshmen eye entitlement reform MORE (R-Wyo.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamHigh anxiety for GOP NYC mayor: Trump sounds like ‘a third-world dictator’ Five takeaways from final debate MORE (R-S.C.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyReport: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas Cotton not ruling out 2020 White House bid Ben Stein revives ‘Ferris Bueller’ role for Grassley ad MORE (R-Iowa), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonGOP senator: Dems making ‘concerted effort to produce fraudulent votes’ Club for Growth: Anti-Trump spending proved to be 'good call' Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage Is crumbling MORE (R-Wis.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Senate Democrats aren't losing the money race after all To protect taxpayers, the Hyde Amendment must be permanent MORE (R-Miss.). Crapo, Enzi and Grassley serve on the Senate Finance Committee, which will have to approve Lew's nomination.
— Updated at 9:23 a.m.