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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Details: Rouse, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, will be nominated to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to lead the organization. She is also the daughter-in-law of the late novelist Toni Morrison.

  • Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein, Biden's first economic adviser as vice president, also are expected to round out the CEA.
  • Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a former top adviser to Hillary Clinton, could face a rocky confirmation. Republicans tangled with her over the Affordable Care Act, and some progressives blame her for Bernie Sanders' loss in the 2016 presidential primary.
  • Deese is a former senior adviser to President Obama who worked on the auto industry bailout and Paris climate agreement.

Also in consideration for top jobs are:

  • Results for America's Ben Harris, who's been a chief economic adviser to Biden.
  • Bruce Reed, who ran the Domestic Policy Council under President Bill Clinton and served as one of Biden's vice presidential chiefs of staff.
  • Roger Ferguson, a former Fed vice chair, who announced his retirement as CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.

Between the lines: Nominating Rouse for a Senate-confirmed post could give Biden more political space to pick some of his longtime associates and avoid confirmation fights, after progressives already signaled they are opposed to candidates like Deese and Reed.

  • The CEA serves as an in-house think tank, providing hard economic data to the president. While Trump demoted the chair from Cabinet rank, Biden plans to restore it.
  • Rouse and Boushey joined former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke in signing a letter in June that argued for a fiscal response covering the expected $16 trillion output gap expected over the next 10 years.

The bottom line: Putting Rouse on a team with Janet Yellen would add academic heft and real-world experience to negotiations with Congress over the size of relief packages.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.