Obama Taps Jason Furman to Lead Council of Economic Advisers

President Obama today nominated longtime economic adviser Jason Furman as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, calling him "one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation."

"When the stakes are highest, there's no one I'd rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job," the president said as he stood alongside Furman at a White House ceremony.

"He understands all sides of an argument, not just one side of it. He's worked tirelessly on just about every major economic challenge of the past 4 1/2 years, from averting a second Depression to fighting for tax cuts that help millions of working families make ends meet to creating new incentives for businesses to hire, to reducing our deficits in a balanced way that benefits the middle class," he said.

Furman, 42, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, has been a part of Obama's economic team since he joined the campaign in 2008 and has played a role in virtually all the administration's major economic policy decisions.

With this promotion, Furman would replace Alan Krueger, becoming one of Obama's most visible economic advisers.

The president said he has come to trust not only Furman's head but also his heart, "because Jason never forgets who it is that we're fighting for: middle-class families, folks who are working hard to climb their way into the middle class, the next generation."

The president urged the Senate to swiftly confirm Furman.

Obama also thanked Krueger, 52, who, after a year and half in the position, is heading back to teach at Princeton.

"I'm sad to see him go, but I know that he will continue to do outstanding work. And, fortunately, he'll still be available for us to consult with him periodically," Obama said, "because he's a constant font of good ideas about how we can further help the American people."