Susan Rice to step down as Biden’s domestic policy chief
President Joe Biden’s home coverage adviser, Susan Rice, is stepping down from her put up subsequent month, a number of present and former senior administration officers informed NBC Information.
The transfer brings to a detailed Rice’s prolific, wide-ranging and at occasions controversial tenure overseeing Biden’s home agenda — together with a number of the thorniest political points, reminiscent of immigration coverage. Throughout her greater than two years within the position, Biden has signed government and legislative actions on well being care, gun security, scholar loans, policing and different key priorities for Democrats.
Rice’s final day within the White Home can be Might 26, in response to a senior administration official.
White Home chief of employees Jeff Zients mentioned Rice, who served as nationwide safety adviser in the course of the Obama administration, has been essential to driving Biden’s agenda and has taken the Home Coverage Council “to new heights.”
“It’s extraordinary when you consider what she’s carried out when it comes to public service throughout her profession, capped off by being the primary particular person ever to be the nationwide safety adviser and home coverage adviser,” mentioned Zients, who has recognized Rice since highschool. “It actually speaks so much to her management and her vary.”
The method for Biden to pick out Rice’s successor will embody candidates each inside and outdoors the White Home, a second senior administration official mentioned.
Whomever Biden names to function home coverage adviser for the rest of his time period will face a lot much less of the policymaking dash, together with on laws, that Rice did, and focus extra on implementing present insurance policies and a few further government actions.
“Susan was there throughout this two-year interval the place there was simply an unbelievable and historic burst of policymaking, and the subsequent 12 months and a half goes to be totally different. It’ll name for a special strategy to coverage,” mentioned Brian Deese, who labored intently with Rice whereas serving as director of the Nationwide Financial Council.
“The position and the necessities for the position are going to be totally different, and I feel they will take that into consideration,” Deese added, referring to the president and his high aides.
Rice, who was on Biden’s quick checklist for vice chairman, entered the job with out a home coverage background, having served in international coverage roles in the course of the Obama and Clinton administrations. Amongst her first strikes within the Biden administration was to undertake a construction on the Home Coverage Council equally to that of the Nationwide Safety Council, bringing in coverage specialists and codifying a course of for convening officers throughout the federal government.
Former White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned Rice’s expertise in international coverage helped inform the administration’s response to home points, reminiscent of the worldwide pandemic and immigration.
“She’s a coverage wonk,” Psaki mentioned. “So, in that sense it was simply studying new-ish coverage points.”
Rice has informed colleagues she entered the administration intending to remain two years, in response to a senior administration official.
She remained within the White Home just a few months longer, the official mentioned, partially to see by a number of tasks, together with a method for combatting antisemitism that is anticipated to be finalized earlier than she leaves, a federal technique on homelessness, and an effort aimed toward decreasing crime and serving to previously incarcerated folks extra easily re-enter society that is prone to be introduced subsequent week.
The timing of Rice’s departure additionally coincides with a rising controversy over the White Home’s dealing with of migrant kids who arrive unaccompanied on the southern border amid questions on whether or not the White Home, together with Rice, ignored warnings that sponsors of migrant kids had been making them work grueling jobs in violation of kid labor legal guidelines. The White Home has mentioned that’s not the case. A senior administration official mentioned Rice is pleased with her work on the border.
Administration officers mentioned the controversy has nothing to do with Rice’s choice to depart, which they mentioned was already within the works.
The timing of Rice’s exit additionally means she’s going to stay in her job as Biden contends with an anticipated inflow on the southern border as a result of finish of pandemic-era restrictions for asylum seekers. Crafting a method for when the coverage, often known as Title 42, ends has been amongst one in all Rice’s high challenges.
Immigration is likely one of the points the place Rice has at occasions clashed with different administration officers, reminiscent of Well being and Human Companies Secretary Xavier Becerra, over the strategy to dealing with migrants on the border, as an illustration. Usually described as “robust” and “dogged,” Rice additionally has endeared herself to a number of the White Home’s youthful employees members and maintained a detailed relationship with Biden, in response to a few of her present and former colleagues.
“Susan is blunt and direct, and a few folks discover that type efficient; some folks I feel are intimidated by it,” mentioned former White Home chief of employees Ron Klain. “However she was an ideal colleague and nice mentor to a whole lot of younger folks within the White Home.”
Deputy White Home chief of employees Jen O’Malley Dillon echoed Klain’s reward in a written assertion. “The nation and the American individuals are higher, safer due to her management,” she wrote.
Rice hasn’t dominated out a future stint in authorities. Her plan for now, in response to a senior administration official, is to spend the summer season along with her household and ponder her subsequent act.