Scoop: Biden's private sector liaison is leaving the White House
Zach Butterworth, a key player in major economic legislation passed by the Biden administration, plans to leave the White House on Friday, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: As the White House's liaison to the business community, Butterworth has helped build support for the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act to boost U.S.-based chip manufacturing, and the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.
The big picture: Butterworth has been the "connective tissue" between the senior-most members of the White House and Cabinet, and companies, CEOs and small-business groups across a range of industries, several people in and outside of the White House tell Axios.
- His departure leaves an important role open as Biden gears up for a 2024 re-election campaign during a potential economic downturn — and as the White House looks to improve its relationship with the business world and leverage public-private partnerships.
Zoom in: Butterworth's behind-the-scenes outreach to CEOs of electric car makers, charging station manufacturers and utility companies involved in fortifying the grid is critical to Biden's goal to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, White House infrastructure implementation coordinator Mitch Landrieu said.
- He also led the interagency response to the infant formula shortage and tracked disruptions caused by the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.
What they're saying: "As he has been in every job, he's been golden," Landrieu told Axios. "He is going to be terribly missed in the White House."
- "This White House is really intentional and aggressive about making sure that we're reaching out to the business community, reaching out to labor, reaching out to stakeholders around the country, to try to develop consensus," Landrieu added. "Zach helped lead that effort."
- Butterworth "is an incredibly effective executor, but he's also got a really keen strategic sense," Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, told Axios.