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Welcome to POLITICO’s West Wing Playbook, Your guide to the people and centers of power in the Biden Administration. With the help of Allie Bice.
It’s hard to meet at the White House with GEN SPERLING without ending a long war story about his experiences in the Clinton or Obama administrations, and that drives some of his colleagues a little crazy.
Sperling does not deny that it is him The Man in the Biden White House. The former director of the National Economic Council for 42nd and 44th presidents now oversees the US $ 1.9 trillion rescue plan (ARP). And he took over the West Wing Playbook, which he fondly remembers.
“When I first stepped into the west wing, I was very aware of how much younger I was than everyone else,” he said. “Twenty-eight years later, yes, I have to admit that I am now the gray haired who write the ‘back in my day’ stories. Seriously, I think in a job like this it helps to have multiple experiences of things that went both right and wrong, but I’ll have to try to narrow down my “good back in my day” stories . “
Sperling’s central task is to implement Biden’s characteristic law to combat Covid-19. Many Biden advisors expect voters to judge Biden’s presidency largely on his response to the pandemic.
Much of the actual implementation of the policy takes place at cabinet and agency level, but Biden, who managed the 2009 stimulus package as Vice President with his then chief of staff RON KLAIN, chose Sperling to work from the White House, making sure nothing goes wrong.
So Sperling finds himself back in the White House working with many of the same people who used to work for him, such as the NEC director BRIAN DEESE and advisor to the Minister of Finance JACOB LEIBENLUFT, both of whom are involved in the implementation of ARP.
The 62-year-old sparrow has settled back into his hectic routine in the west wing, with regular calls to helpers and agencies at any time of the day or night. He’s got a “small but serious and nimble” team, as Deese says, and he’s jumping from the hill to zooms with governors, to calls with external progressive groups.
However, one senior team member has already left – a seasoned Democratic agent TY MATSDORFwho most recently worked for the Messina Group. A White House official said Matsdorf’s departure was amicable and a natural consequence of the team’s development. The person added that the White House is a little bit crazy and not always the best place to work for people like Matsdorf who have kids. Matsdorf did not respond to requests for comments.
The remaining team oversees the $ 1.9 trillion plan. MAGGIE POLICHEKoriginally intended as a slot NEERA TANDENThe chief of staff in the Office of Management and Budget, before the nomination was withdrawn by Tendency, helps manage the team and its external communications.
Part of the team too ADITYA “ADI” KUMAR who worked in the office of Vice President von Biden overseeing the Recovery Act. Sperling brought some young workhorses for the harder footwork: JOSHUA WALDMAN and BLAKE BROWN. Other people heavily involved are the deputy OMB director JASON MILLER and LUKE McGOWAN from intergovernmental affairs.
Part of the Covid bailout has already been completed – checks have been distributed, vaccines widely distributed and freely available – but Sperling’s team is in the process of addressing several emerging complications.
The most pressing and time-consuming challenge for Sperling is to implement the expansion of the child tax deduction, with payments to the IRS scheduled to begin on July 15th. The ARP only extended the power, which costs about $ 150 billion a year, for one year, but Biden is currently proposing to extend it to 2025.
The political prospect of the extension may depend on the Biden government‘s ability to successfully enroll families in the program and send checks promptly with minimal fraud. The White House admitted that building the capability was difficult.
“Conceptually, that’s easy to say, but if something like this has never been done before, it’s obviously a big challenge. So I think that’s likely, that’s certainly up there [as a challenge]”Said Deese.
Sparrow sounds fearless. “I actually feel pretty young,” he said, adding, “Then I have to realize that whatever I feel, I look like the 62-year-old gray-haired man on the Zoom call.”
Former colleagues say, don’t let the gray hair fool you.
SCOTT BUCKHOUT, his former assistant at the NEC during the Obama administration recalls that Sperling often played basketball with the much younger helpers. “He had years of experience with us but he would give anything,” said Buckhout. “He wouldn’t even have to sit. I would have to sit. ”
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Which first lady had the first kitchen stove installed in the White House?
MAKE LIKE A TREE AND STOP – The White House confirmed this afternoon Reporting from playbook that it has started to refer to the non-partisan infrastructure package as an acronym: BIF (for Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework).
That seems like a deeply unfortunate nickname for a bill the president calls historic, given that it’s the name of one of the most memorable harmful characters in film history (whose later portrayal depicts was inspired by Donald Trump).
But there was the White House press secretary JEN PSAKI Saying to reporters today, “Let’s make BIF a reality”. And there was energy minister JENNIFER GRANHOLM Tweet about the bill being a “BIF deal”!
We asked the White House if everyone at 1600 Penn was on board with this monstrosity, as we heard rumors that there was dissent among the ranks. We didn’t hear anything.
Fww: The president, who often crosses out all acronyms from speeches because he thinks voters don’t understand them, doesn’t seem to have received the memo. In his remarks this afternoon in Illinois, he repeatedly referred to the package as bipartisan infrastructure approvalthat would shorten to … BIA.
FINALLY: Biden almost seemed to have to apologize as he concluded his half-hour long speech promoting the benefits of his “Build Back Better” agenda (BIF + what’s left of that deal in the cutting room + his American Families plan). “I know this is a boring speech,” he told the crowd, “but it’s an important speech.”
MEA CULPA – Yesterday we said Biden’s “We Can Do This” backdrop to promoting vaccines is a “new slogan”. It hit both of us and ABC how fresh, but Biden has used prominently the motto in early April. We feel stupid because of the mistake.
ABOUT THIS “MONTH OF THE PROMOTION” – This morning, NATASHA KORECKI wrote a fabulous story about the limits of the Biden government’s efforts to alleviate vaccine hesitation. She went back to a Chicago hair salon, that second gentleman DOUG EMHOFF Only traveled last week and found a lot of resistance to vaccination. She couldn’t fit everything in their story So here’s a full swap from her notebook that we thought was interesting.
“Look. We know a lot of crackheads. We don’t know any crackheads who die from Covid,” said Barbier TRAVIS PERRY said.
“Yes, no face masks, they are directly behind each other, with the pipes,” joked his customer. CJ AYERS.
The two laughed. The point they were trying to get across: The problems their neighborhood is facing – addiction, gun violence, children being killed – go so deep that they could barely think of a pandemic.
The White House is working on an executive order that would encourage the prohibition of non-compete agreements (NYTs Neil Irwin)
The children’s home for migrants, which was a symbol of the increase in border crossings, is preparing to close (Valerie Gonzalez from McAllen Monitor)
An interview with Jason Furman, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (Noah Smith on Substack)
Minister of transport PETE BUTTIGEG on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out” with JOY REID at 7 clock
The President attended a meeting with administrative officials in the Situation Room to discuss a response to the recent ransomware attacks.
Biden then traveled to Crystal Lake, Illinois, where he toured McHenry County College and made comments on his Build Back Better agenda.
She attended the White House meeting on ransomware.
We previously reported that the EPA administrator MICHAEL REGAN was model material in high school and college – model material, so to speak. He was in a modeling club when he attended North Carolina A&T State University.
This apparently made him a catch. At NC A&T, Regan returned home three years in a row, accompanying a different date each time an E&E News February profile.
In 1995 he accompanied the Miss Goldsboro Aggie Club to dance. 1996 Miss Environmental Science Club and 1997 Miss Golden Key. The profile doesn’t reveal their names, but judging by the end of his life, we assume the ’96 date was the best.
If you attended the homecoming with Regan, contact us! Betting lines are open.
ABIGAIL FILLMORE, MILLARD FILLMORE‘s Wife, had the first kitchen stove in the White House Set up.
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Edited by Emily Cadei