Reports of Larry Summers' influence within the White House may have been greatly exaggerated.
Summers, the economist and veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, authored a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday that took aim at the size of President Biden's $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. The op-ed "puts down on paper what many liberal wonks have been whispering about for weeks," Politico reports, but got overwhelming criticism from lawmakers, left-leaning analysts, and economists on Twitter. And as people close to the White House tell the Post's Jeff Stein, the Biden administration is among those unconcerned with Summers' predictions.
Biden soon seemed to solidify that report Friday morning after another jobs report showed economic recovery remains at a plateau. "We can't do too much here. We can do too little. We can do too little and sputter," Biden said. And while the president didn't call out Summers by name, his economic adviser Jared Bernstein did. "I think he's wrong. I think he is wrong in a pretty profound way," Bernstein said of Summers' take during a Friday morning CNN appearance.
Congress already took its first steps toward passing the massive stimulus package, voting early Friday morning to pass a Budget Resolution that will allow Democrats to enact the relief bill without Republican support.