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 CrapoTrump, Senate GOP discuss effort to overhaul legal immigration Dems propose fining credit agencies for data breaches Mueller fails to break stalemate on election meddling crackdown MORE (R-Idaho) and panel ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmakers grapple with the future of America's workforce The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo 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 McCainPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump 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 FurmanTrump looks for longer boost from economy US economy grew at 3.2 percent in first quarter, exceeding expectations The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE and Alan Krueger, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist for Joe BidenJoe Robinette BidenButtigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now 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.