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February 20th, 2014
10:52 AM ET

Jack Lew on Minimum Wage, Immigration and Bitcoin

By Gregory Wallace

Jack Lew sees good signs for the economy both on Capital Hill and Main Street.

And his message to the rest of the world: there's work to be done.

The Treasury Secretary said he is encouraged by Congress, which in recent months agreed on a budget,spending bill and debt limit measure.

"Maybe - just maybe," Lew said, "we'll be able, for a couple of years, to keep doing business that way."

By handling these matters, Washington is sending a worldwide message, one Lew says he'll bring to a gathering of global financial leaders this week in Australia.

Lew spoke in an interview with CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans as he prepared for that G20 meeting. Here are five highlights from that interview:

1. Thanks, Washington: Last year's government shutdown and the brinkmanship before it took a toll on the economy. But what matters is that Washington is getting its act together.

"The last four months have been very different from the prior two years," he said.

And it's showing.

"You look at the economic growth over the last six months - (there's a) decided arc of progress," he said, specifically citing "sustained job growth."

But Lew acknowledged room for growth. The numbers support that: hiring in December and January was weak and far below expectations.


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