The White House’s top economic advisers have failed to move forward on plans to move the U.S. economy into a recessionary phase with a new set of recommendations, according to a letter from three senior officials to House lawmakers.
The White House is pushing to move out of the “normal” path of recession and into a period of sustained growth, the three officials wrote, but the panel will be left in limbo until Congress responds.
The three top economists have been working on the plan since February and it has been widely expected to pass in the House by early next week.
The panel will include the chief economic advisers at the Treasury Department, the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve.
The panel will also include key congressional staff, including senior advisers to the House and Senate Democratic leaderships.
The Whitehouse is looking to pass the plan by the end of the year, the officials said.
The administration is also pushing to make the panel a permanent body, with full Congressional oversight and full control over its policies, they wrote.
But the panel has faced opposition from lawmakers and former top Treasury officials who say it will be too little too late.
The administration also has sought to avoid any public discussion of the panel’s work on the plans.
The administration has instead asked Congress to keep the panel quiet on the panels work.
Instead, the administration is working to keep details about the panel secret, the letter said.
The letter was signed by White House National Economic Council Director Kevin Hassett, White House Counsel Don McGahn and White House economic adviser Dan Kowalski.
“This committee needs to be clear that the panel is not in a position to offer public input on these plans,” the three top officials wrote.
“While the panel members are committed to taking steps to implement the panel recommendations, Congress will not be notified of their progress.”
“If the panel proceeds to the point of consensus, we will share that information with Congress so that we can move forward with our plan to reduce the economic and employment risks posed by these trends,” the officials wrote in their letter to the lawmakers.
A new economic panel would include the two top economists at the Whitehouse Council of Industrial Relations and the top adviser to the Senate Democratic Caucus.
The other two officials were White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and White Board of Economic Policy Director David Stockman.
The Senate Democratic caucus is expected to take up the panel, but Republicans have criticized it for not being more transparent about its deliberations and have demanded a more detailed plan.
“This is a panel that has not even begun its deliberations yet,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters in a recent interview.
“They’re moving ahead on these reports that are not very transparent and they have not put out any information.”
The panel would have a staff of six, but it has not been named yet.
The staff includes eight senior economic advisers who are not working for the WhiteHouse.