The most important contestants in Biden’s cabinet draw fire from all sides


Assistants to the president-elect said Wednesday he plans to announce additional members of his economic team next week after Janet L. Yellen, a former federal vice president, was elected finance minister.

Mr. Biden was able to take over economist Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who was vice president of the Federal Reserve and who was seriously considered working for the treasury to lead the National Economic Council or the new body overseeing recovery from the recession.

The election of Ferguson, who is black, to lead the council will help Mr. Biden take the promise that his administration will be similar to the rest of America. The post also includes white men, including Bruce Reed, former chief of staff to Mr. Biden, and economist Austan Goolsbee, who was chairman of Mr. Obama’s economic advisory board. Gene Sperling, a veteran economic adviser to the Clinton administration, is another option, as is Brian Deese, who was deputy director of the National Economic Council under Mr. Obama.

Mr. Reed, the famous centrist and incomplete hawk, was Clinton’s director of domestic policy and helped develop the welfare transformation that Mr. Clinton signed into the Labor and Time Limits Act.

Prominent Liberal members of Congress, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York representative who also opposes consideration of the leadership of the Office of Administration and Budget, which helps the White House set economic priorities. But banning Mr Reed, who travels with Mr Biden for much of the campaign, from his post in the budget office can only ensure he rises in the west wing, where the elected president can make him a senior adviser.

To lead the Department of Agriculture, South Carolina Representative James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of Congress, is urging Marcia L. Fudge, an African-American Democrat in Ohio. Mr. Clyburn, an early and important supporter of Mr. Biden, said the class should focus more on hunger.

But traditionalists who can’t wait to get a voice from the American countryside on the post are Heidi Heitkamp, ​​a former North Dakota senator or Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who served as Mr. Obama’s agricultural secretary.