Biden elevates Economic Advisers chair to Cabinet

Biden elevates Economic Advisers chair to Cabinet
© Getty Images

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE announced Tuesday that the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) would have a seat on his Cabinet.

Historically, the CEA chair — often seen as the country's most influential economist, hasn't sat on presidents' Cabinets, though former President Obama bucked the trend during his presidency. President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE, however, didn't follow suit, deciding to exclude the position from his Cabinet.

Biden's remarks came during a press conference in which he formally announced nominations for his economic team, including former Fed chair Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Debt to break WWII record by 2031 MORE as his pick for Treasury Secretary.


The former vice president described Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseEconomists warn positive jobs report obscures challenges ahead White House downplays surprising February jobs gain, warns US far from recovery CBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief MORE, his pick for CEA chair, as "one of the most distinguished economists in the country."

Currently the dean of Princeton's public and international affairs school, Rouse would be the first Black person to chair the council, if confirmed.

"This is a moment of urgency and opportunity unlike any we've faced in modern times — the urgency of ending a devastating crisis and the opportunity to build a better economy in its wake," Rouse said at the press conference. 

Half of Biden's potential economic team are people of color. Neera Tanden, the president-elect's choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, would be the first first woman of color and South Asian American in the role. 

Wally Adeyemo, picked by Biden to be the No. 2 official at Treasury behind Yellen, would be the first Black deputy Treasury secretary and the highest-ranking Black official in the history of the department.

Biden is under pressure from Black advocates and lawmakers to have strong Black representation in his Cabinet. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the top Black politician in Congress, has voiced his displeasure with the president-elect's Cabinet selections so far.

Rouse joins Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Black Americans who have been selected by Biden to serve in his Cabinet. Thomas-Greenfield was tapped to be the U.S.'s next U.N. ambassador last week.