Senate confirms Rouse as Biden's top economist

Senate confirms Rouse as Biden's top economist
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The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to confirm Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseRepublicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan Sunday shows - Biden economic agenda dominates Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment MORE as President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s top White House economist.

Senators voted 95-4 in favor of Rouse’s nomination to chair the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). GOP Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Opposition to refugees echoes one of America's most shameful moments White House defends CDC outreach to teachers union MORE (Ark.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (Ky.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) and Rick Scott (Fla.) voted against her.

Rouse most recently served as dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and was a member of former President Obama’s CEA. She received wide bipartisan praise throughout her nomination process and was unanimously recommended for confirmation by the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 4.


“When she came before the Banking and Housing Committee, Dr. Rouse’s knowledge of our economy and her passion for service, and her commitment to the people who make this country work ,were obvious to all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike,” said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask On The Money: How demand is outstripping supply and hampering recovery | Montana pulls back jobless benefits | Yellen says higher rates may be necessary Senate Democrats announce B clean bus plan MORE (D-Ohio), the panel’s chairman, on the Senate floor Tuesday.

“Her expertise and leadership will guide this administration and Congress, as we get to work not only to recover from this pandemic, but to build a better economy for the future," he added.

Rouse will become the first Black CEA chair and the fourth woman to lead the council since it was created in 1946. She will also be a member of Biden’s Cabinet after the president elevated the position to his group of top advisers.

Rouse takes the helm of the CEA at a time of both deep pain and hope for the U.S. economy roughly a year into the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. has yet to recover 10 million of the jobs lost to the onset of the pandemic, and millions of households are facing homelessness and food insecurity nearly a year after COVID-19 derailed the economy.


Biden and congressional Democrats are racing to pass a $1.9 trillion economic relief bill to extend expanded unemployment benefits, send another round of stimulus checks and provide more aid to small businesses and local governments by mid-March. The Federal Reserve has also ruled out pulling back support for the economy until it sees evidence of a strong rebound.

While the economy remains severely damaged, economists are optimistic that the U.S. will enjoy a rebound once enough of the population is vaccinated to contain COVID-19.

Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. is on track to secure enough COVID-19 vaccine to cover the entire adult population by the end of May, two months earlier than he had previously projected.

“My hope is by this time next year we are going to be back to normal, or before that,” Biden said.

Updated at 8:24 p.m.