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Biden names Neera Tanden, Cecilia Rouse to economic team

Tanden, his nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, was criticized by both the left and right.
Image: FILE PHOTO: Tanden speaks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia
Neera Tanden, expected to be President-elect Joe Biden's choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, speaks during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.Mike Segar / Reuters

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget and Cecilia Rouse to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, his presidential transition said in a statement.

He also said he would nominate Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo to serve as deputy Treasury secretary alongside Janet Yellen, who he officially said he would nominate as his Treasury secretary.

“As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and help us build our economy back better than ever," Biden said in a statement. "This team is comprised of respected and tested groundbreaking public servants who will help the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 and address the structural inequities in our economy."

Biden also announced that he'd tapped Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey to be members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Biden is expected to introduce members of his economics team Tuesday in Wilmington.

The announcement came a day after Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced their all-female communications team.

Tanden is president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and the former domestic policy director for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign.

The apparent choice drew immediate pushback from the left and right after it was reported by multiple outlets on Sunday, with the communications director for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, citing an “endless stream of disparaging comments” about the GOP senators Tanden will need to confirm her to the post.

She “stands zero chance of being confirmed,” Drew Brandewie tweeted.

Brianna Joy Gray, the former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential run, criticized Tanden as “openly disdainful” of the Vermont independent and his coalition.

“It's almost like they don't want progressives to support national Democratic candidates going forward,” Gray added.

Rouse, an economist, is dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. Earlier this year, she spearheaded a letter signed by dozens of economists arguing for more action to stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

If confirmed, she would be the first woman of color to chair the council, according to the Journal.

Adeyemo served as a senior international economics adviser to former President Barack Obama and was named last year as the Obama Foundation’s first president.