The White House is considering replacing a number of senior officials in the federal government to replace top economist Brian Deese, including Deputy Federal Reserve Chairman Lael Brainard and Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Wednesday.
The process to replace Deese as head of the powerful National Economic Council is still ongoing and the situation is fluid, the person said.
Deese has become one of the faces of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, appearing frequently on television to explain government views and policies. CNN has previously reported that Deese plans to step down.
Deese has long planned to leave in the early months of this year and is playing a role in the selection of his replacement. As chairman of Biden’s Economic Council for the past two years, he has been the driving force behind the government’s economic policy and legislative agenda and one of the most powerful NEC directors in recent memory.
In addition to Brainard and Adeyemo, candidates to succeed Deese include senior Biden adviser Gene Sperling, former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and NEC Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti, the person familiar with the matter, told CNN.
The Washington Post first reported on the frontrunners to replace Deese.
The White House declined to comment.
Brainard was viewed as the leading contender for the Fed chair before Biden eventually decided to renominate Jerome Powell. Brainard, a former Treasury official in the Obama administration and Fed governor since 2014, was appointed vice chairman, the central bank’s No. 1, instead. 2 officers.
If Brainard were to take over the NEC role, it would open a crucial position for Biden at the Fed at a moment when the central bank’s rapid rate hikes are raising concerns among some Democrats that its aggressive stance on taming inflation could have a negative impact on the broader economy.
The Federal Reserve declined to comment.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.