U.S. Senate panel backs Lew for treasury secretary

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday backed President Barack Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Treasury, Jack Lew, overlooking the perks he got from previous employers and clearing the way for a full-Senate confirmation vote.

The 19-5 vote saw about half of the panel's 11 Republicans opposing Mr Lew's nomination, which could be brought to the Senate floor for a final vote as early as Wednesday.

Some Republicans hold deep reservations about the nomination and it is unclear whether they will throw up procedural hurdles to the vote. Nevertheless, Mr Lew is expected to eventually win confirmation in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 53-45 majority.