On Tuesday night the Senate narrowly voted to confirm Jared Bernstein to replace Cecilia Rouse as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). The vote was 50-49, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who had signaled his opposition earlier in the day, being the lone Democrat to vote no. Bernstein has already served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), thus making his confirmation a promotion. The vote breakdown was the same as it was earlier on Tuesday when the Senate advanced Bernstein by invoking cloture.
Manchin had joined all present Republicans voting, but Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who was expected to have voted no, was not present. Thus Vice President Kamala Harris was not needed to serve as a tie breaking vote.
Sen. Tuberville missed Senate votes tonight — including the final procedural vote on Jared Bernstein to be Biden’s top economic adviser. Had he showed, VP Harris would have had to break the tie. But instead, Senate advanced his nomination on a 50-49 vote. https://t.co/6rmCx9nclz https://t.co/YSdHo0PvBQ— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 13, 2023
Although Bernstein was confirmed, it was by the skin of his teeth. It happened with no Republican support. And again, Manchin voted against him, making the opposition bipartisan. This is hardly the norm, given that Rouse was confirmed in February of 2021 by a 95-4 vote.
As evidenced in part by such a narrow vote breakdown, one can see that such a promotion is hardly warranted. Townhall has also covered at length Bernstein's radical stances. Remember the false promise that "inflation is transitory?" Bernstein was one of the figures behind that, which he then sought to speak about in terms of "ambiguity."
Biden Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein on the administration having previously defined inflation as transitory:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 18, 2022
"The lack of specificity about the cadence that was implied by that word, the temporal cadence implied by that word, led to a level of ambiguity..." pic.twitter.com/f0iWcvCRxl
Bernstein's written columns tying race in with economics as well This includes one of his op-eds for The Washington Post, "The built-in biases in economics that feed systemic racism," from July 7, 2020. In another, from June 15, 2020, Bernstein co-authored "The Federal Reserve could help make the job market fairer for black workers" with Janelle Jones. He had also co-authored co-authored a column with Ben Spielberg for The American Prospect, "Does the Fed Think Black Lives Matter?," published on July 11, 2017.
Such radical views go beyond economic policy, though. He's also been vocal about his particularly leftist viewpoints on Medicare for all, abortion, COVID-19, police funding and practices, racial reparations, and the Keystone pipeline.
Ahead of the vote on on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) office released a press release, detailing how "Jared Bernstein Has a Long Record of Progressive Fantasies," also highlighting the Republican leader's remarks on the Senate floor.
In addition to listing out Bernstein's particularly liberal views, McConnell savaged Bernstein's role in inflation and his partisan politics. As he said in part during his remarks:
“But over more than two years of Washington Democrats’ runaway inflation, President Biden’s top advisors have refused to even admit that there’s a problem – let alone that their policies are driving it.
“In early 2021, after Senate Democrats helped ram through the Administration’s reckless taxing and spending spree, one top White House advisor insisted that any inflationary effects would be ‘transitory’.
“Eight months deeper into the Administration’s inflationary spiral, the same advisor insisted that inflation would be, ‘growing half as fast a year from now.’ Another fanciful prediction overcome by the harsh, painful consequence of Washington Democrats’ reckless spending.
“And another instance when Jared Bernstein – President Biden’s choice to serve as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors – was dead wrong on economic advice.
“Mr. President, the CEA was designed to produce objective, empirical economic analysis. With the rarest of exceptions, it’s been led by a seasoned economist with a PhD in the field. That streak would end with Mr. Bernstein.
“The nominee the Senate will consider this week can more accurately claim expertise in partisan warfare than economics. He’s been labeled in the press as President Biden’s ‘man on the Left’.
“And in his own words, Mr. Bernstein’s long record of progressive fantasies speaks for itself.
Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC), of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs--which passed Bernstein out of committee last month along partisan lines--had also denounced the nominee over Twitter on Tuesday morning.
Jared Bernstein is the architect of the broken Biden economy. Now President Biden wants to give him even more power over our lives.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 13, 2023
I refuse to support a nominee whose socialist policies have devastated economic opportunity for Americans.