WILMINGTON, Del. – With unemployment still high and the pandemic looming another economic slump, President-elect Joe Biden is assembling a team of liberal advisors who have long focused on workers and government efforts to eradicate economic inequality.
Janet Yellen, announced Monday as Biden’s candidate for the Treasury Department, served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018 when she placed a greater focus on maximizing employment rather than price inflation as past Fed chair. Biden also appointed Cecilia Rouse to chair his Council of Economic Advisers, and Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein to serve on the council.
Everyone is outspoken in favor of more government spending to stimulate growth, a major problem with the coronavirus pandemic that is tensing the U. S.. . economy.
These decisions « signal the Biden government’s desire to steer the CEA in a direction that is really about working people and raising wages, » said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and former chief economist of the Department of Labor during the Obama administration.
If Yellen is approved by the Senate, she will be the first woman to serve as Treasury Secretary after becoming the first woman to preside over the Fed. Rouse would be the first black woman to lead the CEA in its 74th anniversary. And Neera Tanden, Biden’s election as director of the Office of Management and Budget, would be the first South Asian American in the job.
Biden also selected Wally Adeyemo as Yellen’s deputy, which would make him the first black deputy finance minister. Rouse, Tanden and Adeyemo will all need Senate approval, and Tanden in particular is already heavily criticized by Republicans.
In addition to its progressive line-up, Biden’s team also has many years of experience in government and policy-making. And that deserves praise from some Conservatives who find the candidates are not a far-right group looking to strangle the economy, as President Donald Trump repeatedly warned during the 2020 campaign.
« They are intellectual liberals, but not dejected socialists, » said Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and advisor to Sen.. . Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. « They are pretty conventional liberal economists and experts. ”
Nevertheless, the ambitious goals of the Biden administration are vehemently rejected by the Republicans in Congress. The GOP must win one of two seats in the Georgia Senate in January. 5 special elections to keep control of the Senate and Republicans made great strides in November. 3 in the Democratic House majority.
« Most of the policies that Biden followed won’t survive a Republican Senate, » said Riedl. These include proposals to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and significantly increase taxes on wealthy Americans.
Biden could secure another round of stimulus spending early next year, especially if recent spikes in confirmed virus cases are pushing the economy into recession again. But such a package will likely have to be under $ 1 trillion to get Republican support in the Senate, Riedl said, rather than senior House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi.
Tanden is president and CEO of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and was the director of domestic affairs for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign. She first made a name for herself in the Clinton orbit and was political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential race.
A spokesman for GOP Sen. . Texas-based John Cornyn tweeted that Tanden « has no chance of sustaining » as Treasury Director, citing « an endless stream of derogatory comments on » Republican senators. And Josh Holmes, a political adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tweeted that their endorsement was likely doomed.
Brian Deese, a former senior economic advisor in the Obama administration and now executive director and global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, is expected to be named director of the White House National Economic Council, according to a person familiar with plans that were not empowered to speak publicly on the matter.
Deese worked in the Obama White House on auto-rescue and the environment, where he held the title of Assistant Director of both the NEC and OMB.
Deese and Adeyemo are both under fire from progressives for their ties to BlackRock, a huge Wall Street wealth management firm. BlackRock has tried to avoid tighter government scrutiny by the Treasury Department. And many activists attack the company because it owns huge stakes in oil and gas companies.
Rouse, Labor Economist and Head of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, served in the Clinton Administration from 2009 to 2011 and at the NEC from 1998 to 1999.
In particular, earlier this year it organized a letter signed by more than 100 economists calling for more government action to help the Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
« Planning for a fairer economy based on fact and evidence begins now, » Rouse tweeted Monday.
Alan Blinder, former Fed vice chairman and current Princeton economics professor, praised Rouse’s leadership style and expertise in education and training economics. Biden has suggested taking two years of community college away from classes.
Boushey, selected as one of the three members of the CEA, is President and Co-Founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, an inequality think tank. The center conducts its own research and grants grants for mostly left-wing researchers to investigate aspects of inequality.
Bernstein, who was also nominated for the CEA, was an advisor to then Vice President Biden during the Obama administration before joining the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. Bernstein has also worked as a social worker and was an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a worker-backed think tank.
Joe Biden, Neera Tanden, Janet Yellen, United States Senate, Democratic Party
World News – CA – Biden names liberal economic team a pandemic threatening workers
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