By Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday credited Brian Deese, his outgoing White House top economic adviser, with helping to realize the administration’s economic vision for the country.
Biden said Deese’s work as director of the National Economic Council (NEC) was instrumental in securing passage of a number of important laws, including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, which buoyed the US economy.
“Brian has … helped make my economic vision a reality and managed the transition of our historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth,” Biden said.
Deese, who is expected to step down in mid-February, told MSNBC that Biden has not made any decisions about replacing him.
Officials familiar with the process told Reuters on Wednesday that no final decision on a replacement was expected before the Democratic president delivers his State of the Union address to Congress next Tuesday.
Biden is focused on that speech and has not made a decision on top jobs at the NEC or the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), officials said.
Biden aides have been considering candidates including Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Lael Brainard for the position of director of the NEC and longtime Biden confidant Jared Bernstein to head the CEA, according to people familiar with the process.
Brainard is a Harvard-educated Democrat who has been at the Fed for nearly a decade and was the Treasury’s top international affairs expert under President Barack Obama.
Biden is revamping his best economic team as the Fed continues to raise interest rates, but the US job market remains tight, raising the prospect of an unusual recession without significant job losses.
The next NEC director and CEA chairman will help shape White House economic policy, from executive orders to congressional spending bills and raising the debt limit, in the face of a more hostile U.S. House of Representatives. now controlled by the Republicans.
Other candidates for the NEC job include Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Reuters reported last week.
Only the work of the CEA requires Senate confirmation.
Deese plans to return to his wife and two children, who had stayed in Maine for the past two years, officials said.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Paul Simao and Stephen Coates)