Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner indicated Sunday that he intends to stay on the job, despite calls for his resignation by some Republicans in the wake of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating. (RELATED: DeMint calls for Geithner’s resignation in wake of credit downgrade)
“Secretary Geithner has let the President know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury,” Jenni Lecompte, the assistant secretary for public affairs at Treasury, said in a statement. “He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country.”
At the end of June, Bloomberg reported that Geithner was considering stepping down after he helped reach an agreement with Congress to raise the debt ceiling, in order to spend more time with his family.
Geithner defended his decision Sunday to remain at Treasury.
“I believe in this president,” Geithner stated in an exclusive interview with John Harwood on CNBC. “I believe in what he’s trying to do for the country. I love my work. And I think if a president asks you to serve, you have to do it. And we have men and women dying to protect the country in Afghanistan. We have unemployment above nine percent. Still trying to heal the scars of this crisis. We have a lot of work to do.”
Asked whether he thought the administration bore any responsibility for the downgrade, Geithner said “absolutely not.”
“You’ve seen the president work incredibly hard and make really amazing progress trying to heal the damage caused by this terrible crisis,” he said, before seeming to put the blame squarely on Congress.
“Congress ultimately owns the credit rating of the United States. They have the power of the purse on the Constitution,” he stated.
Geithner also lambasted S&P’s decision to downgrade America’s credit rating, saying “they’ve shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math.”
In an apparent attempt to calm investors before markets open Monday, Geithner stated more than once during the interview that there “is no risk the United States of America would ever not be in a position to meet its obligations.”
“We have a very resilient economy,” he added. “We’re a very strong country. And I have enormous confidence in the basic regenerative capacity of the American economy and the American people.”
Asked whether he believes America and the world are likely to suffer a double-dip recession, Geithner said it was unlikely.
“I don’t think that’s likely … but it depends on the quality of judgments of the governments and central banks now around the world,” he said.