White House Says Reid Wrong on Economy Comments

Posted September 18, 2008 at 2:23pm

The White House hit back at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for saying that President Bush’s economic advisers have been disengaged from the meltdown on Wall Street.

“The majority leader doesn’t know very much about who White House advisers are talking to or not, and that’s as it should be,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

Reid told reporters Wednesday that White House aides have been absent from the negotiating table when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have been making decisions about bailouts.

Fratto said Reid’s assertion that Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers hasn’t met since March is false, noting that Chairman Ed Lazear and Council member Don Marron Jr. meet every day.

Reid “doesn’t have a good understanding of how the council works,” Fratto said.

Fratto added that there is a vacancy on the council because the nominee withdrew his name after waiting for months to be confirmed by the Senate. Marron was just confirmed this summer after waiting nearly a year, Fratto said.

“For Harry Reid to be talking about the work that the Council of Economic Advisers is doing is bizarre,” he said.