Jan 26, 2009
Geithner confirmed by 60-34 vote
The Senate just confirmed Timothy Geithner to be the next Treasury secretary.
Update at 6:22 p.m. ET: The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank -- who came under criticism both for failing to pay some payroll taxes in past years and for being among the policy makers who've been at their posts as the economy has fallen into trouble -- received 60 of the votes cast, to 34 against his confirmation.
Some Democrats crossed party lines to vote against President Obama's nominee. They were Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted against confirmation.
Our original post (from 5:50 p.m. ET):
One of the Senate's more liberal members and someone who would normally be counted on as a strong supporter of President Obama's just said he will not vote to confirm Treasury secretary-designate Timothy Geithner this evening.
"I cannot vote to promote Mr. Geithner," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said, after listing a number of mistakes he believes Geithner has made as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank during what has become one of the nation's most serious financial and economic crises in decades. "I want a Treasury secretary who's going to start banging some heads," Harkin added, after saying he believes Geithner has not shown he's willing to hard enough on the executives who run some of the biggest banks and brokerages.
Harkin did not base his opposition on the nominee's admitted failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on some of his income for several years (Geithner has since paid the taxes).
The Senate is expected to vote around 6 p.m. ET, and as the Associated Press and other news media are reporting it's expected he will be confirmed.