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Jan 10, 2013 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard

Excerpted from CNBC: President Barack Obama is sending a pointed message to Republicans by nominating Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary: I’m not backing down from this budget fight.

This is certainly a blow to any hope that Republicans might have had that Obama would flinch from his pledge not to negotiate over the debt ceiling. The president has said he will demand a clean bill raising the debt ceiling, unattached to any conditions or spending cuts.

To call Lew’s relationship with Capitol Hill Republicans strained would be an understatement. According to some on the Hill, there just is no relationship anymore.

“We do not even bother talking to him,” a staffer for a Republican senator said. (Read More: In Picking Lew, Obama Turns a Page at Treasury)

When Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell called Vice President Joe Biden as the deadline to cut a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff loomed, it was a sign of the tensions between the senator and Lew. McConnell had to create a new channel for negotiations because he could no longer go through the White House.

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