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Lew Says U.S. Gains Leverage in Global Economics Through IMF

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April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew defended the U.S.’s role in the International Monetary Fund after the Obama administration asked Congress to approve a plan to boost the lender’s resources.

“We have a veto in the IMF, we have a controlling voice when we need to,” Lew told the House Budget Committee today. “We have leverage so that the United States can influence the economic decisions around the world, and it’s something our international leadership depends on.”

President Barack Obama on April 10 sent a 2014 budget proposal to lawmakers that would make good on a 2 1/2-year-old pledge that the administration made to the Washington-based IMF, an organization of 188 member nations which lends to governments facing a balance-of-payments or economic crisis. Obama asked to increase the U.S. share, or quota, by shifting about $63 billion from an existing credit line.

John Campbell, a California Republican, questioned Lew during the hearing about whether spending money to fund the IMF “is a good use of resources.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net