March 12, 2021

Biden to Tap Former Fed Economist for Treasury Domestic-Finance Post

WASHINGTON—President Biden intends to nominate Nellie Liang, an economist who specialized in financial stability during…

WASHINGTON—President Biden intends to nominate

Nellie Liang,

an economist who specialized in financial stability during her career at the Federal Reserve, to a senior Treasury Department post, the White House said Thursday.

The president is tapping Ms. Liang to serve as undersecretary for domestic finance, an important role in management of U.S. debt, tax and fiscal policy, financial regulation, housing finance and other economic matters.

She was nominated by former President

Donald Trump

to a seat on the Fed’s seven-member board of governors in 2018, but her nomination ran into opposition from Senate Republicans. Her nomination never had a committee hearing, and she withdrew from consideration in early 2019.

The White House said Mr. Biden also intends to nominate Lily Batchelder, a tax law professor at New York University, and Ben Harris, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign and Northwestern University professor, to top Treasury Department positions.

The officials are subject to confirmation by the Senate. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Ms. Liang was the leading contender for the domestic-finance role.

Ms. Liang served as the founding director of the Fed’s division of financial stability and ran it from 2010 until she left the central bank in 2017. While at the Fed, she worked closely with Janet Yellen, the current Treasury Secretary  who served at the time as the vice chairwoman and later chairwoman of the Fed board.

Ms. Liang joined the Fed as a research economist in 1986 and has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland.

Ms. Batchelder worked for the Senate Finance Committee and for the Obama administration and has written extensively on proposals to raise taxes on corporations and high-income households. She did some of that work with David Kamin, also an NYU professor, who is now a deputy director of the National Economic Council.

She joins a long list of academic tax experts who have already joined the Biden administration’s Treasury Department in roles that don’t require Senate confirmation. They will be writing legislative proposals as Democrats start looking to raise revenue. And they also may review and revise Trump-era regulations on companies, estates and individuals.

Mr. Harris helped develop the Biden campaign’s tax and fiscal-policy plans last year.

Mr. Biden also nominated Jonathan Davidson, the chief of staff for Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), to run the Treasury’s legislative-affairs office. Mr. Bennet was one of the authors of the child-tax-credit expansion that Congress just approved and that many Democrats want to make permanent.

Write to Kate Davidson at [email protected] and Richard Rubin at [email protected]

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