Background: New Man in Treasury
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KWAME HOLMAN: President Bush introduced railroad executive John Snow this morning as his choice to replace ousted Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. The announcement came three days after O’Neill and national economic adviser Larry Lindsey resigned.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: John Snow has excelled as a business leader, an expert on economic policy, an academic, and as a public servant. He’ll be a superb member of my cabinet. Parts of America are experiencing persistent unemployment. Many Americans have very little money left over after taxes. Some struggle under a weight of debt that makes it difficult to save for retirement. Investor confidence needs to be strengthened in practical ways. The new Congress will have a responsibility to address these challenges. My administration will make specific proposals as to how best to address these challenges. I look forward to working with John Snow as we move forward on a growth and jobs package.
KWAME HOLMAN: 63-year-old John W. Snow currently is president and chief executive officer of CSX Corporation, which operates the largest freight rail network in the eastern United States. He served as the chairman of the Business Roundtable, an influential association of major corporate executives. And during the Ford administration, Snow served as a deputy undersecretary at the Transportation Department. He’s taught both law and economics. Today Snow said he would do his best to boost businesses and jobs.
JOHN SNOW: I’m both humbled and deeply honored by your decision selecting me as your secretary of the Treasury. As you noted, this is an important moment for the economy. Thanks to your leadership, and this administration’s stewardship of the economy during a tough time, the recession was one of the shortest and shallowest in modern economic history. Yet I strongly share your view that we cannot be satisfied until everyone, every single person who is unemployed and seeking a job, has an opportunity to work.
I pledge to you to use all my talents, my power, my energy, and my ability to strengthen the current economic recovery and create an environment where millions of job creators– those small businesses and partnerships and medium-sized businesses and large businesses and investors all across America– will grow and prosper. I also understand the importance of working closely with other countries to build and maintain a prosperous, growing, and stable global economy as we successfully prosecute the war on terror.
KWAME HOLMAN: Leading Democrats generally were positive about the Snow nomination but said the Bush administration needs to change its economic policies.
SPOKESPERSON: It is the President’s economic package. He can shuffle staff all he wants. It is the President’s economic package that is a failure.
KWAME HOLMAN: By early next year, President Bush is expected to propose a package of spending stimulus and tax cuts to bolster the sagging economy.