Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has told President Obama that he is considering leaving his Cabinet post but would wait to make a final decision until the negotiations over the deficit reduction talks are completed, according to people familiar with the matter.
Geithner, who has wanted to leave the administration for some time, would only exit with the president’s endorsement, the sources said.
The timing comes at a sensitive time for Obama. The economic recovery has stalled and the president is running out of time to strike a deficit deal before the government hits a deadline that could cause the United States to default on some of its debt.
If he allowed Geithner to leave, Obama would also have to find a replacement in a highly charged political environment. The president has been slow to nominate senior financial policymakers, and congressional Republicans have blocked several of his key nominees.
Geithner has emerged as the most powerful member of the president’s economic team, and his views have continually won over Obama. He shaped the president’s response to the financial crisis, arguing against the nationalization of major banks, and more recently urged the president to embrace a deficit reduction package that would reduce the annual deficit by $4 trillion.
A Treasury official said Geithner doesn’t plan to make any decisions while he’s focused on the work at hand, particularly negotiations on deficit reduction and the debt limit.
Read more at The Washington Post.