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Timothy Geithner staying on as Treasury secretary [Updated]

August 7, 2011 | 12:32 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will not be stepping down, a Treasury Department official said Sunday, ending speculation that the key Obama administration advisor was preparing to resign.

"Secretary Geithner has let the president know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury. He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country," said Jenni LeCompte, assistant secretary for public affairs.

[Updated at 12:38 p.m. Aug. 7: President Obama asked Geithner to stay and "welcomes his decision," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Geithner is expected to remain as Treasury Secretary at least until the fall of 2012.]

Geithner's decision means President Obama will avoid a difficult Senate confirmation fight to fill the position amid financial market turmoil that could be further roiled by Standard & Poor's decision Friday to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.

Geithner played a key role in the negotiations over the recent increase in the U.S. government's debt ceiling and is likely to be a major player as the administration works with Congress to enact the $2.1 trillion to $2.4 trillion in spending cuts that are part of the deal allowing the ceiling to rise.

The last remaining original member of Obama's top economic team, Geithner had been considering stepping down after the debt cap was raised. His teenage son is returning to New York this fall to finish high school.


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-- Jim Puzzanghera

Photo: Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner at the White House on Tuesday for President Obama's statement on passage of legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Credit: Getty Images