12 November 2020 14:42
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to reprise his role as his chief of staff, installing an aide with decades of experience in the top role in his White House. Mr Klain will lead a White House likely to be consumed by the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread unchecked across the nation, and he will face the challenge of working with a divided Congress that could include a Republican-led Senate. "His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again," Mr Biden said. Mr Klain served as chief of staff for Mr Biden during Barack Obama's first term, was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore in the mid-1990s and was a key adviser on Mr Biden's presidential campaign, guiding his debate preparations and coronavirus response. The choice of Mr Klain underscores the effort Mr Biden's incoming administration will place on the coronavirus response from day one.
It is also likely to assuage some concerns among progressives who had been gearing up for a fight over one of the first and biggest staff picks Mr Biden will make as he builds out his White House team. Progressives had expressed concerns that Mr Biden would pick one of his other former chiefs of staff: Steve Richetti, who faces skepticism for his work as a lobbyist, or Bruce Reed, who is seen as too much of a moderate to embrace reforms pushed by the party's base. Ron Klain has been appointed as the incoming White House chief of staff under Joe Biden's administration. On Wednesday (November 11th), Ron Klain was named the incoming chief of staff who has been a key figure in Biden's presidential campaign this year. Ron has served as a senior White House aide to former US president Barack Obama and worked as chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.
"His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again." President-elect Joe Biden has selected long-time aide Ron Klain, who played a leading role during the economic and public health crises of the Obama administration, as his White House chief of staff, according to two people familiar with the decision. Biden offered Klain the top job this week and he has accepted, the people said. White House chief of staff has long been one of the most powerful jobs in Washington. Klain twice served as chief of staff to vice presidents — Biden at the beginning of the Obama presidency and Al Gore at the end of Bill Clinton's administration. Klain's experience with Biden on implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, and his role leading the federal government's response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic, will be relevant to the work that the new administration will face in tackling coronavirus and the resulting economic downturn.
The agency review team, in the past known as beachhead teams, at HHS will be directed by Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who helped to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act as part of the Democratic staff for the House Ways and Means Committee. Her co-leader is Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services who was acting deputy director for the White House's Office of Management and Budget under Obama. Biden Draws Trump Contrast With Virus Task Panel: Biden's panel of coronavirus advisers will be led by two veterans of fierce political fights in the past, and one seen as a rising star in addressing inequities of the health-care system. Two key U.S. Supreme Court justices indicated they are inclined to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act as the court weighed the fate of a landmark law that provides health-insurance to 20 million people. Kavanaugh, speaking to a lawyer defending the law on behalf of the U.S. House, said "I tend to agree with you that it's a very straightforward case for severability under our precedents, meaning that we would excise the mandate and leave the rest of the act in place." The Senate measure wouldn't exempt any coronavirus-related funding from the statutory spending caps agreed to in 2019, which conflicts with House Democrats' decision to provide more than $200 billion in cap-exempt funds broadly related to the virus response. Agriculture-FDA: The Senate GOP's $153 billion Agriculture Department spending bill for fiscal 2021 carries funding increases for nutrition assistance—a crucial selling point for Democrats as many Americans go hungry through the pandemic. The Senate GOP's $153 billion Agriculture Department spending bill for fiscal 2021 carries funding increases for nutrition assistance—a crucial selling point for Democrats as many Americans go hungry through the pandemic. Labor-HHS-Education: Senate Republican leaders are proposing a nearly $2 billion hike in federal spending for the Health and Human Services Department, a move Democratic leaders called "woefully inadequate" amid an ongoing pandemic. Senate Republican leaders are proposing a nearly $2 billion hike in federal spending for the Health and Human Services Department, a move Democratic leaders called "woefully inadequate" amid an ongoing pandemic. The draft measure for fiscal 2021 would increase federal spending on health-care research and drug treatment programs but doesn't include money specifically for dealing with the coronavirus.