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Explained: Who is Bharat Ramamurti, on Biden’s National Economic Council?

US President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Indian-American Bharat Ramamurti as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (NEC). Who is he?

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2020 9:48:54 am
Bharat Ramamurti is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.(Twitter/@BharatRamamurti)

On Monday, US president-elect Joe Biden named Indian-American Bharat Ramamurti as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) for financial reform and consumer protection. NEC is the White House advisory agency to the president on domestic and global economic policymaking.

Other additional members of the NEC include Joelle Gamble, and David Kamin, who was former president Barack Obama’s economic adviser. Biden’s choice of appointees are being seen as positive by progressives who are pushing the president-elect to hire more left-leaning individuals with diverse backgrounds, ideas and experiences, a report in The Wall Street Journal said.

“I’m honored to be joining the Biden-Harris administration as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. We have much to do to get through this crisis and create a stronger and fairer economy — and I’m excited to get to work alongside this great team,” Ramamurti said on Twitter.

Who is Bharat Ramamurti?

Ramamurti, a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, is the Managing Director of the Corporate Power programme at the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think-tank. He was an aide of Senator Elizabeth Warren for seven years and served as her economic adviser during her 2020 presidential election campaign. As Warren’s aide, he also led the investigation of Wells Fargo.

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In April, Ramamurti was appointed member of the Congressional Oversight Commission for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), to oversee spending.

The CARES Act is the largest federal-aid package in American history, and a portion of the funds under the Act, amounting to $500 billion, is managed jointly by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. It is meant to create emergency lending programmes for local and state governments, and small businesses. As per Harvard Magazine, as part of this team, Ramamurti was tasked with investigating if the more than 50 million people who lost their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic were benefitting from the money.

In an opinion column he wrote for The New York Times in April, Ramamurti noted that the commission’s job was to “track how beneficiaries are spending public money and assess whether the public is benefiting from the half-trillion dollars it has put at the Treasury’s and the Fed’s disposal.”

“Our watching eyes can help ensure that the money broadly benefits American families. There isn’t time to waste,” he wrote.

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