Investment banker Antonio Weiss, President Barack Obama's nominee for the position of U.S. Treasury Undersecretary, has withdrawn himself from consideration for the position, according to multiple media reports.
Obama nominated Weiss, 48, for the Treasury Under Secretary in November. The position of Undersecretary, which is the top domestic finance position with Treasury, requires confirmation from the Senate. According to reports, Weiss will become a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.
Weiss, the global head of investment banking at merger advisory firm Lazard Ltd., faced heavy opposition from anti-Wall Street Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Undersecretary position is responsible for implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which Warren has fiercely defended.
A main reason for the opposition to Weiss's nomination for Undersecretary was controversy generated by Lazard due to the company's alleged involvement in “tax-inversion” deals, which involve American companies changing their addresses to foreign countries which have more tax-friendly laws in order to avoid paying taxes imposed by the U.S. government.
Lew said in a statement that he believed the opposition to Weiss's nomination was “not justified” and that he is “disappointed that Antonio will not have the opportunity to serve as Undersecretary, but I understand his request.”