U.S. treasury secretary has not decided on stepping down: official

Published: 02/07/2011 05:00



U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner has not made a decision to leave office while he is focusing now on the ongoing debt talks, a Treasury Department official told Xinhua on Thursday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, June 30, 2011. Geithner said on Thursday he plans to remain in his post for the foreseeable future.   (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The official was responding to local media reports that Geithner was thinking of stepping down following the current round of debt talks, as he recognized that he might have a window to depart once Congress and the administration ink a deal on raising the nation’s debt limit.

Geithner does not plan to make such a decision while he is focusing on the work at hand, particularly negotiations on deficit reduction and the debt ceiling, said the official on condition of anonymity.

“We have a lot of challenges in the country. I’m going to be doing it for the foreseeable future,” Geithner said Thursday at an economic seminar held in Chicago.

With just over a month until the Aug. 2 deadline before the world’s largest economy might default on its obligations, Obama this week began to lead the debt ceiling negotiations, seeking to raise the borrowing limit.

Obama and Geithner have repeatedly stressed that the nation might run out of maneuvering room soon and Congress should take swift moves to avert a default crisis.

Geithner’s departure, if it happens, would follow the already-announced departure of Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.


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