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You are invited to attend the long awaited first meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Board

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HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:13 PM
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You are invited to attend the long awaited first meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Board

Econ panel sets first meeting--finally



Come one, come all to the long-awaited first meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. It will take place May 20 at the White House and -- believe it or not -- the general public is invited, according to a notice to be published in the Federal Register next week.

"While the meeting room will accommodate a reasonable number of interested members of the public, space is limited," the notice advises.

President Obama announced the formation of the 16-member board during the transition and re-announced it in February at an event in the East Room. Six weeks later, POLITICO reported that, in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the board had yet to meet. White House officials then said the board was only expected to meet as a whole four times a year.

Getting the blue-ribbon panel started under the strictures of a sunshine law called the Federal Advisory Committee Act proved to be a challenge for the administration. There were also reportedly disagreements between the group's head, former Federal Reserve Chief Paul Volcker, and a top Obama economic adviser, Larry Summers, over who should be on the panel. "The whole organizational side of this has been a nightmare," Volcker told the Wall Street Journal last month.

Despite the lack of a formal organizational meeting, participants told POLITICO the group had designated subcommittees, or "task forces," to address specific policy areas, like trade. In late March, Obama suggested that four specific members of the panel draft proposals to reform the tax code and limit cheating. The president tapped Berkeley business school dean and Clinton economic adviser Laura Tyson, TIAA-CREF pension fund chief Roger Ferguson, former Securities and Exchange Commission head Bill Donaldson, and Reagan economic adviser Martin Feldstein.

Aides said Obama didn't officially name the tax subpanel for legal reasons. Outside lawyers said that seemed to be a tactic aimed at preserving the tax group's ability to work in some degree of secrecy. However, the board's executive director, White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, told POLITICO's Ben Smith recently that the tax board was expected to do its work in public.
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