Obama to announce Lew nomination as Treasury chief Thursday

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama

plans to announce his nomination of White House chief of staff

and budget expert Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary on

Thursday at an event at 1:30 p.m. ET (1330 GMT), a White House

official said.

Lew, 57, will take the lead on difficult negotiations with

Congress on how to cut the nation's looming debt and rein in

spending - a central challenge for Obama's second term.

Lew is expected to be confirmed by the Senate. He will take

over from Timothy Geithner, who is slated to attend Thursday's

announcement, the White House official said.

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