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Senate confirms Rouse as chief economic adviser to Biden

In her speeches and at her confirmation hearing, Rouse highlighted the uneven nature of the crisis and said she would focus not only on rebuilding the economy and restoring jobs, but also sharing the benefits. .

“Too often economists focus on average results instead of looking at a range of results,” Rouse said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. “One of my priorities as President will be trying to understand how policies will impact everyone in our country, as we strive to make the economy work for everyone. “

Rouse’s stint as president of the CEA will mark his third stint at the White House. She worked as a member of the same board during the Obama administration and on the National Economic Council during the Clinton years as a special assistant to the president.

She was most recently dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs before Biden approached her for the post at CEA, and much of her work has focused on the economics of education, including including the benefits of community colleges and the impact of student debt. . During the Obama administration, she also focused on issues related to long-term unemployment and manufacturing, which she sometimes worked closely with then-Vice President Biden.

Rouse’s previous career at CEA coincided with the Great Recession, but it was another unemployment crisis in the early 1980s that led her to study the job market as an undergraduate student at Harvard, when she began to relate the lessons of her first economics class to the unemployment she saw around her.

“I wanted to know why this was happening,” Rouse said during his confirmation hearing last month. “Why have jobs disappeared – and what can be done to bring them back?”

This time around, she had no plans to return to public service, Rouse said during her appointment ceremony in December. But she was estranged from Princeton by what she called a “rare combination of urgency and opportunity.”

“This is a time of urgency and opportunity unlike any we have faced in modern times,” she said at the time. “The urgency to end a devastating crisis and the opportunity to build a better economy in its wake.”

Rouse will join a leading economic team that includes NEC Director Brian Deese and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

CEA, unlike other Cabinet agencies, has no regulatory or enforcement authority and serves more as a “personal think tank of the president,” said Austan Goolsbee, who was a member of CEA alongside Rouse and became chairman of the board. .

In this way, the council’s influence is limited to the extent to which Biden will be willing to listen to his policy recommendations. “Since many of the most important aspects of the recovery are in the wheelhouse of This Rouse,” said Goolsbee, “I think they would be very interested.”

His confirmation comes as Congress prepares to pass Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout, which experts say will strengthen the economy for months and prevent worsening unemployment or a crisis in spiral. But the challenge ahead is that “in some ways bringing relief is the easier part,” said Jason Furman, another former CEA president.

“Supporting a much better recovery is a much more complicated economic and political task,” Furman said, “and that’s what she will be intimately involved in.”

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