the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President in Announcing His Nomination of Alan Krueger for Chair of CEA

Rose Garden

11:01 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  This morning we're continuing to deal with the impact and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.  As I said yesterday, we're going to make sure folks have all the support they need as they begin to assess and repair the damage left by the storm.  And that’s going to continue in the days ahead.

It’s going to take time to recover from a storm of this magnitude.  The effects are still being felt across much of the country, including in New England and states like Vermont where there's been an enormous amount of flooding.  So our response continues.  But I’m going to make sure that FEMA and other agencies are doing everything in their power to help people on the ground.

Now, even as we deal with this crisis of the moment, our great ongoing challenge as a nation remains how to get this economy growing faster.  Our challenge is to create a climate where more businesses can post job listings, where folks can find good work that relieves the financial burden they’re feeling, where families can regain a sense of economic security in their lives.

That’s our urgent mission.  And that’s what I’m fighting for every single day.  That’s why today I’m very pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.  Come on down here, Al.

Alan brings a wealth of experience to the job.  He’s one of the nation’s leading economists.  For more than two decades, he’s studied and developed economic policy, both inside and outside of government.  In the first two years of this administration, as we were dealing with the effects of a complex and fast-moving financial crisis -- a crisis that threatened a second Great Depression -- Alan’s counsel as chief economist at the Treasury Department proved invaluable.

So I am very pleased to appoint Alan, and I look forward to working with him.  As I told him, it’s going to be tough to fill the shoes of Austan Goolsbee, who's been a great friend and advisor who I’ve relied on for years.  But I have nothing but confidence in Alan as he takes on this important role as one of the leaders of my economic team.

I rely on the Council of Economic Advisers to provide unvarnished analysis and recommendations, not based on politics, not based on narrow interests, but based on the best evidence -- based on what’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country.  And that’s more important than ever right now.  We need folks in Washington to make decisions based on what’s best for the country, not what’s best for any political party or special interest.  That’s how we’ll get through this period of economic uncertainty, and that’s the only way that we’ll be able to do what’s necessary to grow the economy.

So it’s that spirit that I’m going to be calling upon in the coming days.  Next week, I will be laying out a series of steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of working families and middle-class families, to make it easier for small businesses to hire people, to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s roads and railways and airports, and all the other measures that can help to grow this economy.

These are bipartisan ideas that ought to be the kind of proposals that everybody can get behind, no matter what your political affiliation might be.  So my hope and expectation is that we can put country before party and get something done for the American people.

That’s what I'll be fighting for.  And we've got to have a good team to do it.  So, Alan, I appreciate your willingness to take on this assignment, and I'm looking forward to working with you once again.

MR. KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.

Thank you, everybody.

11:04 A.M. EDT