President Barack Obama's likely nominee for Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, is a premier federal budget expert, an administration insider also known as a tough bargainer.
If confirmed by the Senate, Lew would take the helm of the government's main agency for economic and fiscal policy just as the administration girds itself for a new confrontation with congressional Republicans over debt and deficits.
Obama is expected to nominate Lew as early as Thursday, continuing to put a second-term imprint on his Cabinet by choosing yet another close ally for a key government post.
Lew would replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Some Republicans complain that Lew has been too unyielding in past fiscal negotiations.