Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, formally introduced his top economic advisers on Tuesday, as his new administration braces for the worst financial crisis in decades and the resurgence of a coronavirus pandemic.
Wearing a black boot on his right foot he recently fractured while playing with one of his dogs, Biden appeared in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware for an event that underscored the gravity of the situation but which sought to offer hope.
“We’re going to create a recovery for everyone,” Biden said. “Our message to all those currently struggling is this: Help is on the way.”
Biden’s appointments would place several women in prominent economic roles, creating a clear contrast to Donald Trump and reflecting his commitment to diversity.
Among them is Janet Yellen, who, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first woman to lead the US Treasury in its 231 year history. Biden he told me he “may have to ask Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical about the First Secretary of the Treasury, [Alexander] Hamilton, to write another musical ‘on his new nominee.
Yellen led the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, focusing on maximizing employment and less on price inflation. In a Tuesday address, she noted the damage caused by the pandemic.
“Lives lost, jobs lost, small businesses struggling to stay alive or shut down for good,” she said. “So many people struggle to put food on the table and pay their bills and rent.
“This is an American tragedy and it is essential that we move urgently. Inaction will lead to a self-reinforcing recession, causing even more devastation. And we risk missing the obligation to solve deeper structural problems. “
The Biden nominees all voiced support for government spending to boost jobs, reduce inequality and help women and people of color, disproportionately affected by the recession.
But they will have to face the headwinds of the pandemic, which is now estimated to be killing one American per minute. The United States has 4% of the world’s population but 19% of its coronavirus deaths – more than 268,000 – with a record number of cases and hospitalizations forcing further economic restrictions in some states.
November saw the biggest two-week increase in unemployment claims since April. Several aid programs are set to expire this month, though a bipartisan group of House and Senate members unveiled a $ 908 billion relief bill on Tuesday in an attempt to break a political deadlock .
Biden said, “The team I am announcing today will play a critical role in shaping our action plan from day one and move quickly to kick-start this economy.”
His “Rebuild Better” plan, he said, was based on a simple proposition: “Reward hard work in America, not wealth. It’s time to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, climate change, manufacturing and more to create millions of well-paying jobs. It is time we tackled the structural inequalities in our economy that this pandemic has exposed. “
Other choices include Cecilia Rouse, an economist at Princeton University who would be the first black woman to head the Council of Economic Advisers; economists Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein as board members; and Neera Tanden, chair of the Center for American Progress think tank, head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“I’ve known Neera for a long time,” Biden said. “A brilliant political mind with critical practical experience across government. She was raised by a single mom on food stamps, an immigrant from India who struggled, worked hard and did all she could to make her daughter live the American dream, and Neera did exactly. that. She understands the struggles millions of Americans face.
Biden noted that Tanden would be the first woman of color to lead the OMB. But she has already proven her most controversial choice, drawing criticism from Republicans. Some analysts suggest she is a “sacrificial lamb,” likely to be denied confirmation in a fight that could distract from other candidates.
Since his appointment, Tanden has deleted more than a thousand tweets, some of which criticized senators who will vote on his confirmation, the Daily Beast reported.
Claire McCaskill, a former senator from Missouri, told MSNBC: “This is a whole new level of hypocrisy. Now, Republican senators are suddenly worried about tweets that hurt their feelings. It is just ridiculous.
“We had a president who used his Twitter account like a ram, attacking not only his political opponents but also Republican senators unfairly with incredibly brutal tweets. Now, all of a sudden, is it a disqualification for someone in cabinet who has engaged in their own opinion on Twitter? I think it’s silly.
Tanden has also been unpopular on the left, having been a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary. Briahna Joy Gray, former national press secretary for Sanders’ 2020 campaign, tweeted: “Anything that is toxic in the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden. “
For Biden, Tuesday’s sober and determined presentation was the latest sign that the transition is gaining unstoppable momentum despite Trump’s false claims about vote rigging and refusal to concede.
On Monday, Biden received his first full classified intelligence briefing since winning the Nov. 3 election, after Trump delayed the process for several weeks. And Arizona and Wisconsin officially recognized Biden’s victory, which means Trump’s legal team lost six of six attempts to prevent states from certifying their results. Trump has pursued challenges in many states, but most have been rejected.
However, the president continues his chimerical effort. The Trump campaign on Tuesday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether 221,000 missing ballots that allegedly lacked information should be excluded from the total votes. Biden won the state by about 20,000 votes.
The electoral college, which selects the president based on state-by-state results, is due to meet on December 14. Biden will take office on January 20.