Treasury's Lew says U.S. long-term fiscal challenge can wait

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 3, 2014 9:45am EST

United States Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew gestures during a discussion with John Bussey (not pictured), the executive business editor of the Wall Street Journal, at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

United States Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew gestures during a discussion with John Bussey (not pictured), the executive business editor of the Wall Street Journal, at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Monday it was not clear that Washington needs to address the country's long-term fiscal problems this year because it has already made a lot of progress reducing the federal deficit.

"I'm not sure this is the year for the long-term fiscal challenge to be dealt with," Lew said at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank in Washington.

"I actually believe that we've made so much progress in the short and medium term, we have a little time to deal with the longer term."

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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