President-elect Barack Obama officially picked four top members of his economic team in Chicago Monday, saying, “The economy’s likely to get worse before it gets better.” And he feels the four people he picked have the “best minds” to help guide America out of the current economic crisis.
His top pick: Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary.
Obama says Geithner “has an unparalleled understanding of our current economic crisis” and will waste no time getting up to speed in his new office. Obama pointed out that Geithner has worked for both Democrats and Republicans in the Treasury department in the past.
Obama also says Geithner has extensive experience in international affairs. Obama stressed that experience will be crucial, because the current economic crisis is global.
Obama also picked Lawrence Summers, president Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, to head the National Economic Council.
Christina Romer is Obama’s choice to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. In making the announcement, Obama said Romer is not only an economist, but an economic historian who has done “groundbreaking research” on the Depression.
He also picked Melody Barnes to direct the Domestic Policy Council. He says she has a “brilliant legal mind” and will be working hand in hand with his economic policy team to chart a course for the economy.
Obama said he’s grateful that Tim, Larry, Christina and Melody have accepted their nominations, and said their work starts today…because there’s not a minute to waste.
He also briefly talked about the need for a major economic stimulus plan – which would include public works projects across the U.S. A few reporters asked questions, but he declined to say how much the economic stimulus would cost to get the economy moving again. He said that still needs to be worked out.
He did say, his economic team is going to start working right away to get a plan in action. He says in the coming weeks, he’ll “provide everyone with an overview of his or her recommendations.”
Obama also says his new economic team will be working on the foreclosure situation and healthcare, as well as a need to help the automobile industry.
Besides adding programs, the president-elect is preparing to make cuts, saying officials will have to “scour” the federal budget line by line. He plans to make an announcement soon, on what may be chopped out of the budget.
He says other recommendations of his economic team should be ready by the time they take office in January so they can hit the ground running. Obama warned, however, “This will not be easy, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes to this crisis.”
More information: http://change.gov/newsroom/entry/geithner_summers_among_key_economic_team_members_announced_today/