(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, potential president-elect Joe Biden announced those chosen to serve on a possible incoming economic team. It’s a liberal dream team of sorts whose members bring with them controversy and a heavy dose of left-wing policies. However, there is trouble for some of the possible nominees from both the Left and the Right.
Biden appears to be taking the same approach with economic appointments as he did with foreign policy picks. The choices are being made around gender, racial diversity, personal experiences, and policy and economic records. There are a few familiar faces and a few that leave much to be desired for one or both sides of the political aisle.
Over the last six months, Biden stated he would be the most progressive president in US history despite running as a moderate. So far, the former vice president appears more comfortable picking establishment Democrats who have extensive experience over the less experienced but more vocal far-left members of the party. However, with more announcements expected soon, that could change.
Top Position Announcements
As COVID-19 surges and the economy may slow down, the potential economic team will determine if America recovers or not and how fast the economy could improve or worsen. Economists expect the economy to contract in the first quarter of 2021.
Two critical positions that will shape the country’s economic future include the Treasury Secretary and head of the Office of Management and Budget.
At the top of the list of potential nominees, it appears Biden settled on former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary.
President Obama chose Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve in January 2014. As head of the Fed, the former Chairwoman often spoke about government programs to boost women’s role in the workplace. During her tenure as Fed Chair, some Republicans accused Yellen of trying to create Fed policies that were more political and beyond the role of the central bank. However, as a political Cabinet appointee, she could have a lot of influence over economic and gender issues.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
The OMB is responsible for creating and overseeing the budget of the federal government. Biden is set to announce that Neera Tanden is his choice. Tanden was a former adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. In addition, she served in the Obama administration and was a chief architect of Obamacare. Since leaving the Obama administration, the former economic staffer led the far-left think tank Center for American Progress. During her time at American Progress, Tanden was highly critical of many Republicans whose votes she might need to secure this position.
Trouble Brewing in the Senate
Concerns are mounting among the far left that they will not be represented well in a new administration, especially after heavily supporting Biden despite their significant differences. Another sticking point for some Democrats is the relationship many of Biden’s potential economic team nominees have with big business.
Will Democrats stick together and support Biden’s list of nominees, or will they break along ideological lines?
On the other hand, Republicans are already voicing concerns about Tanden. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is signaling she has no chance of being appointed in a Republican-led Senate. A spokesman for the Senator tweeted that Tanden’s previous comments disparaging Republicans may play a big role in any confirmation process.
Biden and his nominees will face heavy scrutiny by both the left and the right. It will be an interesting process to watch, and Republicans may have the upper hand if they maintain the Senate as expected and if the far-left minority rebels from the party establishment. The GOP could help shape a more moderate Biden administration that Democrats are comfortable with come January.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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