President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his economic team Monday as the incoming administration prepares to navigate a recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic at a time when congressional Republicans have become more reluctant to fuel record deficit spending.
The key figure is Janet Yellen, Biden’s choice to become Treasury secretary after previously leading the Federal Reserve. Other appointees include Neera Tanden, the chief executive of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, to head the Office of Management and Budget, and Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, to lead the Council of Economic Advisers.
But while Yellen is recognized for being one of the most experienced people ever considered for her post, Tanden could have trouble winning confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate because of her political history and fiery posts on Twitter.
Drew Brandewie, a spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, tweeted Sunday that Tanden has “zero chance of being confirmed” because of disparaging tweets against Republicans.
Biden is scheduled to introduce the team Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, at 12:30 p.m. EST.
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The unveiling of the economics team comes as Biden urges the lame-duck Congress to approve more spending to deal with the pandemic before he takes office Jan. 20. But negotiations stalled before the election – as House Democrats approved a $2 trillion package and Senate Republicans held out for a $500 billion proposal – and remain uncertain.
“This team looks like America and brings seriousness of purpose, the highest degree of competency, and unwavering belief in the promise of America,” Biden said in a statement. “They will be ready on day one to get to work for all Americans.”
His choices, some of which require Senate confirmation, include:
•Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department. She was previously the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve and served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.
•Wally Adeyemo would become the first Black person to serve as deputy secretary of Treasury. He previously served as deputy director of the National Economic Council, deputy national security adviser and the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
•Tanden would be the first woman and first person of Southeast Asian descent to lead the Office of Management and Budget, which not only maps the president’s spending blueprint but also serves as a key gatekeeper by reviewing government regulations for their financial impact.
Tanden was a senior adviser in former President Bill Clinton’s administration and Tanden worked for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., before serving as political director for her 2008 presidential campaign. Tanden also served as director of domestic policy for former President Barack Obama’s campaign.
•Rouse, a labor economist at Princeton, would become the first Black woman to lead the Council of Economic Advisers after previously serving on panel during the Obama administration.
•Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey as members of the Council of Economic Advisers. Bernstein had served as chief economist to Biden when he was vice president. Boushey focused on economic inequality as president, CEO and co-founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.