WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team will build back better Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 27, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday announced six new members of their economic policy team. Below is what many in the American media think about the new team.

Norah O’Donnell, CBS Evening News: “[President-elect Biden] is taking a sledgehammer to Washington’s glass ceiling, nominating women to lead the Treasury Department and White House budget office. He is also choosing an all-female White House press staff of seven that includes six mothers of young children.” 

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Mary Bruce, ABC World News Tonight: “[President-elect Biden] is trying to make good on his promise to diversify the White House, address income inequality and deliver for working families. For Treasury Secretary, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who would be the first woman in the role. Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton economist, is now the first black nominee to head the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. Another first, Neera Tanden, she would be the first woman of color to run the Office of Management and Budget.” 

Washington Post: “The economic team of the incoming Biden administration represents a striking diversity of background and experience, from liberal academia to Wall Street. Several who are set to become top advisers share a focus on putting workers first as they prepare to inherit stewardship of the economic crisis.”

NYT: William E. Spriggs, the chief economist for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. labor union, hailed the selections, saying in an email on Monday that “we have not had a C.E.A. as focused on the role of fiscal policy and full employment since President Johnson.”

AP:  Nominee for Council of Economic Advisers Chair, Cecilia Rouse “organized a letter earlier this year signed by more than 100 economists calling for more government action to mitigate the fallout for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Reuters: “U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named several women to his top economic policy team on Monday, including former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary nominee, setting the stage for diversity and a focus on recovery from the pandemic.”

Bloomberg: “President-elect Joe Biden took a significant step this week toward addressing the damage to the U.S. economy inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, naming an economic team led by his choice for Treasury secretary, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen… In Yellen, Biden will have a battle-tested policy maker who can draw on her nearly two decades at the Fed to help rebuild an economy in dire need of government cash and confidence.”

Bloomberg: “President-elect Joe Biden’s picks for his economic team suggest he will make it a priority to lift the fortunes of Black and lower-income Americans, whose gains in recent years have been endangered by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Bloomberg: ‘“The Biden administration is clearly committed to this sort of thesis of, ‘How do we incorporate racial justice in every aspect of this administration?’” said Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-founder of the Sadie Collective, a nonprofit that aims to boost the number of Black women in economics. “I think the appointment of Cecilia Rouse is a clear indication that they are very much focused on it.”’ 

The 19th: “The announcement of the economic team gives an indication of how Biden plans to tackle the economic recovery in the first days of his administration, which will inherit record high unemployment and unequal economic disparities that are hurting women and people of color the most.”

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