Biden announces departure of Brian Deese from top economic job
Comment on this story
President Biden publicly confirmed Thursday that Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, is stepping down from the White House’s top economic post.
“Brian’s work was critical to passing the most important economic agenda in generations,” Biden said in a statement in which he noted a raft of legislation passed during his first two years in office, including a sweeping package of help the nation. pandemic weather; a bipartisan infrastructure bill; and a large amount of energy, taxes and health care.
In the statement, Biden acknowledged that Deese had been traveling from New England, where his wife and children live, to Washington.
“I’m grateful to his wife Kara and his children Adeline and Clark for letting us borrow Brian,” Biden said. “I know well what it must have been like to say goodbye to him on the regular long commute to Washington, and I know they are excited to welcome him home.”
Deese’s departure has been expected for some time, with speculation already running rampant about potential successors.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Lael Brainard has emerged as a leading contender to replace Deese. The election of Brainard, 61, will be welcomed by liberals, given her support for tighter regulations on Wall Street and her attention to the effects of climate change on the financial world.
In addition to Brainard, Biden is said to be considering Wally Adeyemo, the deputy treasury secretary; Gene Sperling, a senior Biden adviser who led the NEC under President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama; Sylvia Mathews Burwell, former secretary of health and human services and current president of American University; Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of NEC; and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The next NEC director will face a series of decisions critical to Biden’s economic legacy, the most pressing of which could include a potentially disastrous showdown with congressional Republicans over the nation’s debt limit, which, if not resolved, it could send the US economy into a recession. The NEC is expected to lead those negotiations with GOP lawmakers.
Biden’s economic team will also face crucial questions about how to implement the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure law and will play a key role in handling economic policy for China as tensions with Beijing rise. The NEC is also working to set new national housing policies, push Biden’s antitrust agenda and coordinate policy to prevent US energy prices from rising amid the war in Ukraine.
Official word of Deese’s departure came a day after Biden oversaw the transition from Ron Klain as White House chief of staff to Jeff Zients.
Tyler Pager, Jeff Stein and Rachel Siegel contributed to this report.