Economic Recovery

Fiscal policy wonks charting the path toward an economic rebound

Heather Boushey
Member, Council of Economic Advisers

In a 2019 essay in the journal Democracy, Heather Boushey argued that “there is a new consensus emerging in economics, one that seeks to explain how economic power translates into social and political power and, in turn, affects economic outcomes.”

Unsurprisingly, Boushey herself is part of that “new consensus,” as well as part of a cadre of progressive economic advisers in the new administration that belies President Biden’s reputation for cautious centrism.

Bill Dauster
Chief Counsel for the Senate Budget Committee

A veteran legislative staffer, Bill Dauster brings more than four decades of experience to his post as chief counsel to the Senate Budget Committee. He’s tackled the federal deficit, helped pass the Affordable Care Act, and established social connections across the political aisle. 

And on the side, he’s spent more than a decade writing Wikipedia entries for each of the 54 weekly Torah portions.

Bharat Ramamurti
Deputy Director for the National Economic Council

During the 2020 primary season, Sen. Elizabeth Warren often occupied one of the center lecterns next to Joe Biden. But the ideological ground she occupied was very different.

No matter; less than a year later, Bharat Ramamurti, a former top economic staffer to Warren, has found himself in a key role in Biden’s National Economic Council, crafting economic-recovery policy.

Cecilia Rouse
Chair, Council of Economic Advisers

Had President Biden not tapped Cecilia Rouse for a second stint on the Council of Economic Advisers—this time as chair—he may have found a spot for her at the Education Department. After all, much of the Princeton economist’s research has focused on college affordability, student engagement, and improving the education gap for low-income students.

Rouse has found that scholarships for students positively affect their effort and quality of work. She led research that revealed a sizable percentage of community college students do not finish their first year. She also played a key role in President Obama’s Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which invested heavily in historically Black colleges and universities.

Heidi Shierholz
Senior Economist and Director of Policy of the Economic Policy Institute

Heidi Shierholz is not a run-of-the-mill economist. For starters, she began her career not in the dismal science but in mathematics and statistics. Shierholz plied those trades at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the AFL-CIO, among other places, before going on to earn her master’s and doctorate in economics at the University of Michigan. 

Secondly, her research is focused less on evaluating the impacts of policies on GDP or interest rates, and more on their impacts on wages, worker benefits, and equality. Writing on the American Rescue Plan’s passage in March, she wrote, “While the bill is not perfect, it is nevertheless a groundbreaking departure from the profound mistakes of prior downturns, when Congress’s refusal to provide sufficient relief and recovery caused needless suffering for millions, exacerbated racial inequality, and delayed recoveries by years.”