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Spratt praises Obama's choices for economic team

U.S. Rep. John Spratt offered words of praise Monday for President-elect Barack Obama's newly announced economic team.

Spratt, a York Democrat and chairman of the House Budget Committee, will work closely with the White House to craft the federal government's ongoing response to the financial crisis.

"This is not your typical business cycle recession, and there are no typical off-the-shelf solutions, or play-books to turn to," Spratt said in a statement Monday afternoon. "We need policy-makers with seasoned judgment and keen vision, modern-day heirs of great economists, like Keynes, who are able to find their way to the source of these dismal problems and devise the right solutions."

John Maynard Keynes was the early 20th century British economist whose best-known theory was that governments should borrow and spend money to encourage economic activity when a nation's economy struggles.

Obama unveiled key members of his economic team Monday, led by New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary.

Former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will become the director of the National Economic Council.

Obama also announced the appointments of Christina Romer to be the chair of his Council of Economic Advisers and Melody Barnes as the director of the Domestic Policy Council.

For many years, the feeling in Washington was that Spratt, 66, would be a logical choice to join a Democratic White House. Some political-watchers tagged him as a potential budget director.

But Spratt distanced himself from the chatter, saying he would be content to finish his career in the House.

"The president-elect has brought together an impressive team, with diverse talents, who are up to the task," Spratt said Monday. "He has made it clear that they will be working in close tandem with him, indicating that in his estimation the economy is such a critical and pressing problem, as it is."

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