Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is considering stepping down later this year, but will not make any decision until after debt limit negotiations conclude, people familiar with his thinking said on Thursday.
A U.S. Treasury official confirmed that Geithner had not yet made a decision on whether to leave the Obama administration.
Geithner is expected to address reports of his possible early departure at a forum in Chicago later on Thursday.
Bloomberg News, which first reported the story, cited unnamed sources as saying that family considerations were among factors that Geithner was weighing. ABC News reported that there are far too many caveats to say that Geithner will definitely depart.
A person familiar with Geithner's thinking said the Treasury chief realizes he might have a window to potentially depart after a deal to raise the debt limit and reduce U.S. deficits is reached.
Geithner is the last remaining top member of President Barack Obama's original economic team. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee is planning to leave the administration in August to return to the University of Chicago.
Goolsbee told CNBC on Thursday that news of Geithner considering a departure was a bit of a surprise.
He's a good friend. I know his overwhelming focus is to get this debt ceiling and deficit reduction worked out, Goolsbee said.
Geithner, 49, has been warning all year of catastrophic consequences if Congress fails to increase the $14.3 trillion statutory borrowing limit and the United States defaults on its debt. He has said the Treasury will no longer be able to pay all the nation's bills -- including interest on the national debt -- after August 2.
Geithner, 49, has spent most of his career in the public sector and does not have a university position or banking job waiting for him. Prior to taking the top job at Treasury, he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and held key positions before that at the International Monetary Fund and the Treasury during the Clinton administration.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Glenn Somerville, Rachelle Younglai and David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish and Jan Paschal)