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Obama taps Furman to replace Krueger for top economic post

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks between Jason Furman (L), Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; and outgoing chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger at The White House in Washington on June 10, 2013. UPI/Yuri Gripas | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4bb0d85c99e3a4100a324a1042f7f7d2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks between Jason Furman (L), Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; and outgoing chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger at The White House in Washington on June 10, 2013. UPI/Yuri Gripas | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- As expected, President Obama nominated Jason Furman on Monday to replace Alan Krueger as head of the White House National Economic Council.

Furman, Obama said, "is one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation. ... He's won the respect and admiration from his peers across the political spectrum."

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For five years, Obama said he's trusted Furman not only for what he knows but what's in his heart because "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."

"And 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," Obama said. "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 four and a half 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."

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Obama asked the Senate to confirm Furman as quickly as possible.

Krueger and Furman joined Obama at the podium. Furman, an original member of Obama's economic advising team, currently is the deputy director of the council, which advises the president on economic matters.

He has a doctorate in economics which he earned at Harvard University. He has worked on the Hamilton Project, a research unit associated with the Brookings Institution.

"Jason's strong commitment to economic growth and job creation and his firm belief in the importance of pursuing policies to expand the middle class will make him an extraordinary leader of the council," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said.

Obama thanked Krueger for being "one of my most trusted advisers."

"I'm sad to see him go," the president said. "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 because he's a constant font of good ideas about how we can further help the American people."

In a statement, Small Business Majority President and Chief Executive Officer John Arensmeyer called Furman's nomination good news for small businesses.

"Furman's temperament, tenacity and talent, coupled with his diverse experience, will serve him well as chairman," Arensmeyer said. "We know from working with Furman in the past that he's committed to small businesses and growing our economy. Under his leadership, the council can continue working to protect small employers and consumers by helping form smart, pragmatic economic policies."

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