Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is seeding his advisory boards and transition team with center-left economists and Black and Hispanic leaders as he prepares to confront income inequality and racial disparities exacerbated by the pandemic.

Why it matters: The Democratic nominee is signaling that if he wins in November, his administration may pivot away from the pro-Wall Street sentiment that pervades not just Trump's White House, but also reigned in Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s administrations.

Details: Biden added two new co-chairs to his economic advisory council over the summer, sources tell Axios:

  • William Spriggs, an economics professor at Howard University and chief economist to the AFL-CIO.
  • Luis Ubiñas, an investor, former president of the Ford Foundation and former McKinsey partner.

Biden has already put Big Business on notice that he’s serious about a progressive agenda, telling CNN's Jake Tapper last week that, if elected, on "day one," he would begin a push to increase the corporate tax rate to 28%, regardless of the unemployment rate.

But, but, but: Advisory councils don't necessarily set policy and Biden has hundreds of outside advisers. In-house advisers still tend to be the last voices in a candidate's ear.

The big picture: Many of Biden's current in-house economic advisers watched during the Obama administration as political aides deferred to Wall Street and congressional dealmakers over deficit concerns. They regarded that as a mistake and are determined not to let Biden underspend if he's elected.

  • Jared Bernstein and Ben Harris, both of whom were Biden's chief economic advisers under Obama, are left-of-center economists who consistently pressed for more government stimulus and banking rules in the Obama White House.
  • The campaign team also includes policy director Stef Feldman, senior adviser Jake Sullivan and Gene Sperling, who was an NEC director for both Obama and Clinton.

Jeff Zients, Obama’s last NEC director and a co-chair of Biden's transition team, is also pulling together a diverse transition roster that includes former aides to some of the party’s loudest progressive voices:

  • Gautam Raghavan, chief of staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash).
  • Julie Siegel, who worked in the Obama White House before leaving to help establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with Elizabeth Warren.
  • Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s former head of the Domestic Policy Council, who worked at the National Council of La Raza.
  • Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute.

The big question: Will Elizabeth Warren join a Biden Cabinet as Treasury secretary or attorney general, or stay in the Senate?

  • From the Senate, she'd effectively hold veto power on Treasury secretary, potentially dashing the hopes of financial services titans like BlackRock’s Larry Fink or Centerview Partners' Blair Effron.
  • But she might accept Fed Governor Lael Brainard, who was confirmed 61-31 in 2014 and was Obama’s first undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

Be smart: Warren and Bernie Sanders, not Wall Street, will help Biden decide which economic names get sent to the Senate for confirmation if Biden wins. And progressive economists, more than big bankers, will drive the policy.

Spriggs and Ubinas join a team of outside economic advisers that also includes:

  • Heather Boushey, Hillary Clinton’s top economic adviser in 2016.
  • Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s second Council of Economic Advisers chair.
  • Byron Auguste, an Obama deputy director of the National Economic Council.
  • Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.

Between the lines: The Biden campaign closely guards details about outside economic advisers, leading to headlines like this one in the New York Times in June: “Biden’s Brain Trust on the Economy: Liberal and Sworn to Silence.”

Go deeper

Scoop: Pentagon halts Biden transition briefings

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden, shocking officials across the Defense Department, senior administration officials tell Axios.

The latest: Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham contradicted the Pentagon's official response to this story on Friday afternoon, telling reporters, "Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break."

AAPI lawmakers ramp up pressure on Biden to nominate Julie Su for Labor secretary

California Labor Secretary Julie Su. Photo: Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) lawmakers are pushing for President-elect Biden to nominate California Labor Secretary Julie Su to head the U.S. Department of Labor.

Why it matters: Biden has been pulled in multiple directions by different stakeholders as he looks to follow through on appointing the “single-most diverse” Cabinet in U.S. history. AAPI lawmakers have escalated their calls in recent weeks, with Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) on Friday urging Biden to include an AAPI Cabinet secretary.

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but they fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.