President Joe Biden’s home coverage adviser, Susan Rice, is stepping down from her submit subsequent month, a number of present and former senior administration officers informed NBC Information.
The transfer brings to an in depth Rice’s prolific, wide-ranging and at instances controversial tenure overseeing Biden’s home agenda — together with a few of the thorniest political points, comparable to 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 Could 26, in keeping with a senior administration official.
White Home chief of employees Jeff Zients stated Rice, who served as nationwide safety adviser through the Obama administration, has been crucial to driving Biden’s agenda and has taken the Home Coverage Council « to new heights. »
« It’s extraordinary when you consider what she’s executed by way of public service throughout her profession, capped off by being the primary individual ever to be the nationwide safety adviser and home coverage adviser, » stated Zients, who has identified Rice since highschool. « It actually speaks loads to her management and her vary. »
The method for Biden to pick Rice’s successor will embrace candidates each inside and outdoors the White Home, a second senior administration official stated.
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 current insurance policies and a few extra 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 yr and a half goes to be totally different. It should name for a unique method to coverage, » stated 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 prime aides.
Rice, who was on Biden’s quick record for vice chairman, entered the job with no home coverage background, having served in international coverage roles through 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 consultants and codifying a course of for convening officers throughout the federal government.
Former White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated Rice’s expertise in international coverage helped inform the administration’s response to home points, comparable to the worldwide pandemic and immigration.
« She’s a coverage wonk, » Psaki stated. « 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 keeping with a senior administration official.
She remained within the White Home a number of months longer, the official stated, partially to see by means of a number of initiatives, 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 geared toward lowering crime and serving to previously incarcerated individuals extra easily re-enter society that is more likely 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 have been making them work grueling jobs in violation of kid labor legal guidelines. The White Home has stated that isn’t the case. A senior administration official stated Rice is pleased with her work on the border.
Administration officers stated the controversy has nothing to do with Rice’s determination to depart, which they stated 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 because of the finish of pandemic-era restrictions for asylum seekers. Crafting a method for when the coverage, often called Title 42, ends has been amongst considered one of Rice’s prime challenges.
Immigration is among the points the place Rice has at instances clashed with different administration officers, comparable to Well being and Human Providers Secretary Xavier Becerra, over the method to dealing with migrants on the border, for example. Typically described as « robust » and « dogged, » Rice additionally has endeared herself to a few of the White Home’s youthful employees members and maintained an in depth relationship with Biden, in keeping with a few of her present and former colleagues.
« Susan is blunt and direct, and a few individuals discover that model efficient; some individuals I feel are intimidated by it, » stated former White Home chief of employees Ron Klain. « However she was an excellent colleague and nice mentor to numerous younger individuals 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 keeping with a senior administration official, is to spend the summer season along with her household and ponder her subsequent act.