Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner fiercely battled against the suggestion he step down from his post in light of growing concerns from both the left and right over his leadership.

In a fiery exchange at Thursday's Joint Economic Committee hearing with ranking Republican Kevin Brady (Texas), who suggested that Geithner had "failed" and should reconsider his job, the Treasury secretary asserted that he and his team had made great strides bringing the economy back from "the brink."


"I agree with almost nothing of what you said," replied a heated Geithner, charging President George W. Bush's leadership was to blame for the country's financial woes.

"Again, it's just a basic fact: A year ago, this economy was falling at the rate of 6 percent a year. We were losing between half a million and three-quarters of a million jobs a month," he said, noting those numbers changed when President Barack Obama took office.

That explanation, however, hardly satisfied Brady, who shot back that the country "has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job." He also said Geithner's failure was beginning "to reflect on your president."

Sensing the exchange was about to grow more pointed, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) informed Brady his time had expired. But Geithner still returned fire, blaming "almost a decade of public neglect," and the economic harm that it wrought on the country, on the Bush administration.

Replied Brady, "Tell all of that to the millions of Americans who no longer have jobs because of your decisions."

A number of lawmakers this week, including Democrats, have questioned whether the Treasury's recovery efforts have prioritized Wall Street at "Main Street's" expense.

"A growing consensus in the caucus [believe that Geithner should be removed]," Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said on MSNBC on Wednesday, a statement Brady cited during Thursday's hearing.

But Geithner left no doubt about the future of his job.

"If you look at any measure of consumer and investor confidence today, if you look at any measure of the stability and health of the economy ... it is substantially stronger today than when the president of the United States took office," he said. "And that did not happen on its own."