By Amie Parnes - 01/10/13 11:00 AM EST
President Obama will nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack LewJack LewWarren’s power on the rise Dem pushes Treasury for info on Syria sanctions Metlife battles ‘too big to fail’ designation MORE to be his next Treasury secretary Thursday afternoon, a White House official said.
Obama will make his announcement during an East Room event at 1:30 p.m., the official said, adding that Tim Geithner, the current Treasury secretary, will be in attendance at the announcement.
The president's decision comes on the heels of the year-end "fiscal cliff" negotiations and ahead of fresh fights over the nation’s debt ceiling, sequestration cuts and a measure to continue funding the government.
Sources familiar with the nomination process say Lew has a deep knowledge of both domestic and international economic issues.
Lew, who led the Office of Management and Budget and was a deputy to Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Clinton's lead narrows to 4 points Pence: 'There are many instances’ of voter fraud Pence describes harrowing runway incident MORE, also had a significant role in working with officials overseas during the European debt crisis.
It remains unclear if Lew will be confirmed right away. Some Republicans hope to make him answer for what they see as the administration’s tough negotiating tactics in past battles over the budget.
On Wednesday, Sen. 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.) indicated he would oppose the nomination, saying in a statement that Lew “must never be secretary of Treasury.”
Sessions charged that Lew misrepresented Obama's 2012 budget, saying it did not add to the debt.
"His testimony before the Senate Budget Committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies," said Sessions.