Finance to vote on Lew nomination on Tuesday

The Senate Finance Committee will vote Tuesday on President Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary, Jack Lew.

Lew, formerly Obama’s chief of staff, has faced some questions from Republicans about an investment in the Cayman Islands, and over his tenure at Citigroup between the Clinton and Obama administrations.

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Still, after Lew spent more than three hours answering questions from Finance this month, his nomination is expected to move through both the Finance panel and the full Senate.

Top Democrats have said that Lew should have no issue getting confirmed, and the top Republican at Finance, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), praised Lew’s appearance before the committee.

Timothy Geithner, President Obama’s first Treasury secretary, left the post in January. Neal Wolin, who held the No. 2 spot at Treasury in Obama’s first term, has been the acting head of the department since Geithner left.

Lew has spent decades working on the federal budget, acting as budget director for both Presidents Clinton and Obama after earlier working for former Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) in the 1980s.

That experience, Democrats say, will serve the administration well as it tries to keep the economic recovery going and tries to make tough decisions to put the nation’s fiscal books in order.

Democrats have also noted that Lew has met with more than 40 senators and answered more than 400 questions in writing – more than five times as many as Henry Paulson, President Bush’s last Treasury secretary.

Republicans have also questioned Lew about his role in putting the sequester in place, just days before the $85 billion in automatic cuts are scheduled to start.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a former Finance chairman, has especially scrutinized Lew’s answers about a loan he received while working for New York University and benefits received while Lew was at Citigroup.