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President Biden is poised to name Gene Sperling, a veteran of the Obama and Clinton administrations, as his coronavirus relief czar to implement the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan passed last week, according to numerous reports.
An announcement could come as soon as Monday.
Sperling was one of Biden’s main economic advisers during the 2020 campaign and served as director of the National Economic Council in the Clinton and Obama administrations.
“Gene will work with the heads of the White House policy councils and key leaders at federal agencies so we can get funds out the door quickly, maximize its impact, and accelerate the work the administration is doing to crush COVID-19 and rescue our economy,” an administration official told The Hill.
Sperling was also considered as a potential nominee to head up the Office of Management and Budget after Neera Tanden withdrew her name amid a controversy surrounding past tweets that harshly criticized Republican lawmakers and Progressive Democrats.
Biden has not yet named a candidate to replace Tanden.
Sperling in the “czar” role would be responsible for ensuring that the aid earmarked for state and local governments, businesses, schools and vaccine distribution moves smoothly.
The president is scheduled to make remarks later Monday as he, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses set off on a national “Help is Here” campaign to tout the relief package dubbed the “American Rescue Plan.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki likened the role to a similar position Biden held as vice president when he shepherded the stimulus package after the 2008 financial crisis.
“The president believes it’s a model, looking back at the Recovery Act, where having a person who can pull all the levers of government and engage with mayors and city leaders and community leaders is an effective means of ensuring that implementation is efficient moving forward,” she said.
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