President Joe Biden is likely to choose Gene Sperling to oversee the implementation of the administration’s Covid-19 relief plan. Two sources working closely within the White House claim that the president will likely make the announcement this week.
Sperling has served under former president’s Barack Obama and Bill Clinton’s economic teams and was initially under consideration to be Biden’s director of the Office of Management and Budget. Instead of that position Sperling is now the top choice to help the White House oversee the enactment of the $1.9 trillion relief bill recently passed by the government.
Sperling has a ton of experience with US economic policy issues, including working as the head of the National Economic Council under Clinton and Obama as well. He also was the top adviser of the Treasury Department under the Obama administration.
Sperling has advocated for expanding how much the US has spent on the pandemic in its initial months, as well as assisted in helping the economy rebuild the tens of millions of jobs that were lost since the start of the pandemic. He even publicly claimed that he believed the stimulus payments weren’t “too large” after responding to an op-ed question by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
He also has deep connections across Capitol Hill that would work to his advantage as a leader of the Covid-19 relief plan. However, there’s also a major pushback on choosing Sperling for the role due to the fact that many government members think Shalanda Young will be Biden’s final pick. Young is currently Biden’s nominee to be deputy budget director and is also a congressional budget aide. According to sources she has received the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus, the top three Democratic leaders of the House, members of the Hispanic Caucus, and some Republicans.
Young is a Black woman, and many House members indicated it wouldn’t look good for the administration to pass over Young to give the position to a white man. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Budget Committee both advanced the nomination for Young to take the position which will send her nomination to the floor for a final vote.
Representative Emanuel Cleaver recently claimed that Biden would “certainly not make a mistake in naming Young because she is brilliant.” Another House Democrat anonymously told the press that “if the White House didn’t choose Young, it would be an affront to the Congressional Black Caucus and to leadership in the House.”
Many Democratic members view Young to be the inevitable choice and claimed that “nominating her to the role would represent a commitment by the White House to Black Caucus members, who have repeatedly made clear that Black voters were instrumental in Biden’t victory.”
“When I think of opportunities to make sure that we’re talking about diversity here is another one of those chances — Shalanda would be the first woman of color to serve in that position. So it’s a chance to again break another ceiling. And I think that when you have chances of breaking ceilings, you do it,” said Representative Gregory Meeks.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.