Cohn’s Departure Leaves White House Policy Void
March 7, 2018
Yesterday afternoon’s resignation by Gary Cohn as Director of the National Economic Council has created a void at the White House for economic policy formulation.
According to a Politico report, several high-profile candidates to fill Cohn’s position carry more disadvantages than benefits. One unnamed National Economic Council official insisted that Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro is a non-starter candidate, adding that “no one on this NEC will work for that guy.” Another potential replacement, former Reagan administration advisor and CNBC host Larry Kudlow, has been critical of the president’s tariff policy; Cohn’s opposition to new tariffs was widely seen in Washington as fueling his resignation.
Another would-be replacement already has two jobs in the administration: Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). However, the President has yet to name a full-time Director at the CFPB, and Mulvaney’s departure from that agency would strengthen the legal claims by Richard Cordray protégé Leandra English that she be in that position.
As for the President, he took to Twitter to offer an assurance that Cohn’s absent office will soon be filled. “Will be making a decision soon on the appointment of new Chief Economic Advisor,” he tweeted. “Many people wanting the job—will choose wisely!”
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