Fed’s Brainard top contender for head of White House National Economic Council: report

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Lael Brainard, the vice chair of the Federal Reserve, has emerged as a top contender to head the White House National Economic Council, a report said Wednesday.

A Washington Post report said that President Joe Biden is close to naming the next director of the NEC — the top economic position in the White House — and that Brainard is a top name. The Post cited three people familiar with the deliberations.

If selected, the 61-year-old Fed official would take the position after current NEC director Brian Deese leaves the White House, the Post reported. Deese is expected to leave soon but hasn’t set an official departure date.

The report said Biden is also considering Wally Adeyemo, the deputy treasury secretary; Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to Biden; Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the former secretary of Health and Human Services; and others.

The report comes as Biden and congressional Republicans are locked in a standoff over raising the U.S. debt limit, a battle that could have drastic effects on the U.S. economy if not defused. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier this month reportedly told Biden that she will remain in her job for the next two years as the White House faces challenges including the borrowing limit.

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