Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Timothy Geither, Treasury Secretary Nominee's Tax Issues

Geithner is Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary.

Here is what we know:

The Senate Finance Committee is currently holding what's being called an "emergency Senators only meeting."

The committee is discussing nominations.

Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary nominee, is here with Obama transition officials to discuss a legal issue involving a personal household employee. The specifics have not been disclosed. We are checking on a report that Geithner may have an issue concerning a household worker and the withholding of social security taxes.

Geithner's confirmation hearing before this committee is scheduled for Thursday Jan 15.

That kind of issue unraveled past nominations like Zoe Baird (Clinton) and in a related way Kimba Wood (Clinton). The "emergency" meeting began at 2:30.

More here....
Sources close to the transition say Geithner did not pay some taxes when he worked for the International Monetary Fund. The error was discovered in November 2008, and the taxes have since been repaid.

With regard to the housekeeper, transition officials say Geithner verified legal status when she was hired, but that her papers expired while still employed.

Transition officials also say Geithner initiated the meeting with the committee in an effort to be forthright.

"The President-elect chose Tim Geithner to be his Treasury Secretary because he's the right person to help lead our economic recovery during these challenging times," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "He's dedicated his career to our country and served with honor, intelligence and distinction. That service should not be tarnished by honest mistakes, which, upon learning of them, he quickly addressed. He made a common mistake on his taxes, and was unaware that his part-time housekeeper's work authorization expired for the last three months of her employment. We hope that the Senate will confirm him with strong bipartisan support so that he can begin the important work of the country."

It appears it is serious but will not derail the nomination.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) says upon exiting the emergency meeting... "He's [Geithner] been very forthright in relating to us any mistakes...What we talked about has been fully disclosed to the Transition Office."

Stabenow indicates that, in her view, Democrats would be unlikely to withdraw support from Geithner. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also indicates he has not seen a reason that would disqualify Geithner.

First Read

Will update as any relevant information becomes available.

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