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Jack Lew expected to be next Treasury Secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff Jack Lew is President Barack Obama’s expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week, as the administration moves to fill the most critical jobs in the Cabinet.

White House officials would not confirm that a final decision had been made. But aides did not dispute that Lew is emerging as the consensus choice.

Lew would bring to the Treasury Department a wide range of experiences in both the public and private sector. He has spent much of his career mastering the mechanics of the federal budget, including two stints at the helm of the Office of Management and Budget, once under Obama and also under former President Bill Clinton.

That background could help shape the Obama administration’s strategy in its forthcoming talks with congressional Republicans over the federal debt ceiling. Republicans are expected to demand deep budget cuts as the price of agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. The federal debt limit is expected to be tapped out sometime in February.