Brian Deese, the top White House advisor on economic policy who helped craft massive spending bills and steer a path out of the pandemic shutdown, is leaving his job, US President Joe Biden said Thursday.
Recalling the "high unemployment, an economy in crisis, and main streets shuttered across the country" when he took office in January 2021, Biden said Deese had been vital to the US resurgence.
"For the past two years, I have relied on Brian Deese," Biden said in a statement.
"He has helped steer my economic vision into reality and managed the transition of our historic economic recovery to steady and stable growth."
Deese played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in the passage of Biden's signature legislative achievements while his Democratic party held a narrow majority in both houses of Congress.
These include: the American Rescue Plan which helped keep the economy afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic; a giant infrastructure spending bill; the CHIPs and Science Act for subsidizing semiconductor manufacturing and other cutting-edge industries; and the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to stimulate electric vehicle manufacturing and other green economy sectors.
Deese's decision to step down was expected, coming at the midway mark of Biden's first term and with Congress now divided between a Democratic majority in the Senate and Republican majority in the House of Representatives. A replacement has yet to be named.
On Wednesday, Biden held a farewell ceremony for his chief of staff, Ron Klain, who is being replaced by another key aide, former Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients.