FinanceBiden to name Gene Sperling to lead COVID-19 relief plan - administration official

ReutersAndrea Shalal
3 minute read

U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2021. REUTERS/Cheriss May

U.S. President Joe Biden will name Gene Sperling to lead implementation of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan signed into law last week, an administration official said on Sunday.

Sperling, a top economic official in the administrations of former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, was ideally suited for the job because of his experience, the official added.

"There’s no one who knows how the federal government works better than Gene Sperling, and there’s no one better qualified to take charge of the implementation of the rescue plan and make sure it delivers for the American people," the official said.

Sperling did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A White House announcement could come as early as Monday, according to Politico, which first said Sperling was being considered for the job earlier on Sunday.

The relief program Biden signed into law on Thursday provides $400 billion for direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, aid of $350 billion to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and more funds to distribute vaccines. read more

Passage of the legislation would speed the recovery of the U.S. economy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said in a statement.

Sperling, who served as an economic adviser for Biden's presidential campaign, is the only person who headed the White House National Economic Council under two presidents - Obama and Clinton. From 2009 to 2011, he served as a counsel to then Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, as the Obama administration responded to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

"He has a track record of translating complex policies into tangible results for working and middle-class families," said the administration official.

Sperling had helped both administrations create jobs and boost economic growth following tough economic downturns, he added.

In his new role, Sperling will work with the heads of the White House policy councils and leaders of federal agencies to ensure swift adoption of the relief package, the official said.

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