Ron Klain, Biden's chief of staff, is preparing to leave office | International

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The stability of Joe Biden's Cabinet seemed bombproof. Midway through his tenure, not a single member of the original team he appointed upon arrival at the White House has left office. That, however, is going to change and it is going to do it in style. His chief of staff and right handRon Klain, a kind of shadow prime minister, is preparing to leave his post, as reported by various US media, citing sources familiar with his plans.

Klain, 61, is preparing his departure for the coming weeks, possibly after the speech on the State of the Union that Biden plans to deliver in Congress on February 7, although for the moment there has been no official announcement in this regard. . His resignation, attributed to job exhaustion, comes at a sensitive time in the Biden presidency. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate why Biden had in his possession (in a private office and at his home) classified documents from his time as Barack Obama's vice president.

The Chief of Staff is willing to stay a few more weeks to facilitate the transition and they are already beginning to think about who can be his replacement, although at least half a dozen names appear in the pools without a clear favorite. The departure of the Chief of Staff may lead to a broader renewal of Biden's Cabinet for the recently launched second half of his presidency. Biden is expected to announce in the coming months that he will run for re-election, although the appearance of the classified papers he improperly took with him when he stepped down as vice president has dulled his political moment.

Biden faces a difficult second half of his term with the House of Representatives in Republican hands. The first conflict has come with the debt ceiling, which has been reached this week. Without authorization from Congress, the federal government cannot increase its debt and the Republicans want to take advantage of their majority in the House of Representatives to impose spending cuts. Biden refuses to negotiate and asks that Congress fulfill its constitutional obligation to avoid causing an economic crisis.

In his last tweet posted, Klain was referring to precisely that question: “How extreme is the Republican Party's plan to cut Social Security and Medicare? So extreme that even Donald Trump is saying, 'Hey, that's too extreme for me!

Beyond that clash, the Republicans want to subject the entire Biden government to demanding scrutiny and the strength shown by the most radical in the pulse for the election of the speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCatrhy predicts one clash after another in these next two years.

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The oxygen balloon for Biden comes from the side of inflation, which eroded his image so much in the first part of his term. However, the rate hikes that the Federal Reserve has approved to combat it lead economists to think that the economy is likely to enter a recession this year.

a powerful figure

In the United States there is no proper council of ministers. Cabinet meetings are infrequent, barely half a dozen since Biden assumed the presidency in January 2021. The collegiate body does not approve projects or decrees, nor does it have specific powers beyond advising the president, so its meetings also have something symbolic . It is made up of the vice president, the 15 secretaries of executive departments, the chief of staff and eight other members with different positions.

The president and, especially, his chief of staff dispatch directly with the secretaries of the departments and hence the power of whoever holds that position in the West Wing of the White House.

Biden opted for a person with three decades of political experience to hold that position, more important in day-to-day government action even than the vice president, Kamala Harris. Lawyer, adviser to several presidents, vice presidents and senators and a key person within the Democratic apparatus, Klain is a person very close to the president.

When he chose him in 2020 after winning the elections, Biden was full of praise for him: “Ron has been invaluable to me during the many years that we have worked together, including when we rescued the economy from one of its worst moments in its history in 2009. and when a public health emergency later occurred [crisis del Ébola en 2014]”, he said then in a statement. “His deep, broad experience and ability to work with people across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff at this time of crisis and to unify the country,” he added.

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