Jacob “Jack” Lew’s nomination to become the next Treasury secretary
was approved 71 to 26 by the Senate on Feb. 27.
The vote by the full Senate was made after the Senate Finance
Committee approved Lew’s nomination on a vote of 19 to 5 Feb. 26.
Lew’s confirmation hearing Feb. 20 before the Senate Finance
Committee lasted a little more than three hours and touched on a
number of topics concerning the economy.
No specific questions during the public hearing concerned coins or
As Treasury secretary, Lew will be responsible for national
economic policy. U.S. Treasurer Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios has
direct oversight of the United States Mint, the Bureau of Engraving
and Printing, and Fort Knox, all part of the Treasury Department, and
is a key liaison with the Federal Reserve.
Rios reports to the Treasury secretary through the secretary’s deputy.
Lew’s facsimile signature will appear on Federal Reserve notes
along with that of Rios. President Barack Obama and others have
commented, and joked, that Lew may have to modify his idiosyncratic
signature to make it readable.
Historically, it has taken a minimum of six weeks to prepare new
printing plates bearing the facsimile signatures of a new Treasury
secretary or U.S. treasurer.
On Jan. 10 President Obama announced his intention to nominate
White House chief of staff Lew as Treasury secretary.
During President Obama’s first administration, Lew served as
director of the Office of Management and Budget, and before that, as a
senior official at the State Department. ■