Washington Forecast: White House Hopes For Snow

By John S. McClenahen Less than a week after Washington, D.C. got its earliest substantial snowfall in a decade, the White House is hoping the U.S. Senate will approve more snow, in this instance John W. Snow, whom President Bush is nominating to replace Paul H. O'Neill as Treasury Secretary. Currently chairman of transportation company CSX Corp., Snow is a member of the Business Council and has chaired the influential Business Roundtable, a group of 150 major-company CEOs. Snow has a Ph.D. in economics, is a lawyer and has been a leader in corporate financial and governance reform. Initial reaction from the business community is favorable. Snow "understands the crucial role of investment in economic growth," says Jerry J. Jasinowski, president of the Washington, D.C.-based national Association of Manufacturers. Snow also "understands the importance of exports to strengthening our domestic economy," says Jasinowski. "It is imperative that we restore our export sector -- because manufacturing in this country will not recover until we do." Snow "is respected by business executives, government officials and market leaders," notes Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. "He can and will meet the President's high expectations and help the country recharge the economy at this critical time for our nation." One of Snow's first jobs, assuming he is confirmed by the Senate, will be to sell an Administration economic-stimulus package to Congress, Wall Street and the American public. The Bush Administration is assembling a package -- consisting mainly of tax changes -- to accelerate the growth rate of the economy. The U.S. economy is expected to post only a 1.5% advance in 2002's final calendar quarter, which closes at month's end.

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