Biden Expected to Name Top Economic Officials This Week

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to name top members of his economic team this week, including Neera Tanden, the chief executive of the Center for American Progress, to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton labor economist, to run the Council of Economic Advisers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The announcement, which could come on Wednesday, will include Mr. Biden’s decision to name Janet L. Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, as Treasury secretary, along with Adewale Adeyemo, who was President Barack Obama’s senior international economics adviser, as deputy Treasury secretary.

Two of Mr. Biden’s top economic aides during his presidential campaign, Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, will join Ms. Rouse on the Council of Economic Advisers. Both Ms. Boushey and Mr. Bernstein come from a liberal, labor-oriented school of economics that views rising inequality as a threat to the economy and emphasizes government efforts to support and empower workers.

Mr. Biden has also selected Brian Deese, a former Obama economic aide who helped lead that administration’s efforts to bail out the American automotive industry, to head the National Economic Council, according to three people with knowledge of the selection.

Mr. Deese, 42, is not an academic economist — but he is a veteran of economic policymaking, having served as acting head of the O.M.B. and deputy director of the economic council under Mr. Obama. He was also a special adviser on climate change to Mr. Obama, a role that could signal Mr. Biden’s commitment to fashioning an infrastructure bill for his legislative agenda that heavily features spending on clean energy initiatives.

In some ways, the moves showcase Mr. Biden’s commitment to racial, gender and ideological diversity in top advisory positions while maintaining a close circle of advisers who have deep experience working with him when he was vice president.

But the appointments could disappoint progressives in the Democratic Party who have been frustrated that their views are not being sufficiently represented in early personnel decisions and could culminate in a confirmation battle, particularly for Ms. Tanden.

Republicans, who are expected to retain control of the Senate, are unlikely to easily pass Ms. Tanden, who advised Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Trump and is seen as divisive and partisan.

But she also faces a challenge from Senate Democrats given her role in the 2016 election. Many of those who worked for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran against Mrs. Clinton as well as Mr. Biden, remain convinced that Ms. Tanden was part of a group of Democrats working behind the scenes to scuttle his 2016 nomination.

Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, referred to Ms. Tanden on Twitter on Sunday as a “sacrifice to the confirmation gods.”

Ms. Rouse, a labor economist, worked on Mr. Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2011. She also worked at the White House’s National Economic Council during the Clinton administration in the late 1990s.

Mr. Adeyemo, an immigrant from Nigeria, has extensive experience working at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration, when he was a senior adviser and deputy chief of staff. He is currently the president of the Obama Foundation.


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