The US Senate's powerful finance committee has approved Timothy Geithner's nomination to serve as Treasury Secretary, despite criticism over his personal tax affairs.
REUTERS - The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday backed President Barack Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Treasury, Timothy Geithner, overlooking his underpayment of some $34,000 in taxes and clearing the way for a full Senate confirmation vote.
The committee approved the nomination on a 18-5 vote, with the only no ballots coming from Republicans.
The nomination could be brought to the full Democratic-led Senate for confirmation later on Thursday. But a Democratic aide said Democrats planned to first confer with Republicans, who could slow down the process.
"As quickly as possible," the Democratic leadership aide said when asked when the Senate may vote on Geithner.
Geithner, who currently heads the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was considered by many to be an ideal candidate for the job because of his deep involvement in government efforts to prop up financial institutions and markets amid the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
Geithner's nomination appeared without controversy until revelations last week that he underpaid self-employment taxes for several years when he worked for the International Monetary Fund earlier this decade.
Although Geithner corrected what he called "careless" and "unintentional" mistakes, the tax errors cost him some votes on the committee.
"I don't believe that the requisite candor exists for me to indicate my support for him with an affirmative vote,"
Date created : 2009-01-22