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Economists support Trump's pick to lead White House economic council

Economists support Trump's pick to lead White House economic council
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An ideologically diverse group of 44 economists on Monday expressed support for President Trump’s pick to head up the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The economists urged the Senate Banking Committee to quickly confirm Kevin Hassett, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute, to lead the Trump administration's economic policy ahead of his nomination hearing slated at the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

“While we disagree on many issues, as economists we all agree that the nation would be well served if Kevin Hassett is confirmed as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers,” the economists wrote in a letter to Banking Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoMnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed Shelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences MORE (R-Idaho) and panel ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (D-Ohio).

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“While the signers of this letter hold a range of views on President Trump’s policies, we all believe that the formulation of economic policy would be advanced by the analysis and advice that Dr. Hassett would bring to the table,” they wrote. 

Nominated in April, Hassett has served in government, worked for conservative-leaning think tanks, advised Republican presidential candidates and taught at Columbia University.

So far, he is the only person who has been nominated for the three-member council of economic advisers. 

He began worked for AEI in 1997 and during that time advised Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (R-Ariz.) during his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, as well as Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.

The CEA, which the Trump administration has so far operated without, offers the president economic advice and recommendations to help formulate policy on issues such as the monthly job report.

Hassett, who worked at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department for President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton, “has a record of serious scholarship” on a wide range of topics from tax policy to business investment and energy, the letter says.

"We appreciate that Hassett has consistently made an effort to reach out to a wide range of people from across the ideological spectrum both to promote economic dialogue and to collaborate on research and public policy proposals," the economists wrote. 

The signers of the letter include former CEA chairmen for President Obama Jason FurmanJason FurmanFormer Treasury secretaries from both parties call for immediate COVID-19 relief deal Economists call for more stimulus checks House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education MORE and Alan Krueger, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist for Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE, Doug Elmendorf, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Michigan and Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.