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Office of Policy Development

The Office of Policy Development operates under the Executive Office of the President.  Office of Policy Development is comprised of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) and the National Economic Council (NEC), which are responsible for advising and assisting the President in the formulation, coordination, and implementation of domestic and economic policies.

Even before the formal creation of the DPC, some form of a domestic policy office existed in the White House since the 1960s.  President Lyndon B. Johnson assigned a senior-level group to organize staff in order to develop domestic policy.  In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon issued an executive order that created the Office of Policy Development, with jurisdiction over economic and domestic policy.  In 1993, President William J. Clinton split the Office of Policy Development, forming the present Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council.

Domestic Policy Council

The Domestic Policy Council (DPC), established in 1993, is a committee with Secretaries of major Departments of the Cabinet.  The DPC is part of the Executive Office of the President.  The DPC is chaired by the President and operates under the Office of Policy Development.  The DPC is headed by the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, who is also the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor.  The Director is supported by the Deputy Director of the DPC.

The DPC is the principal forum for the President of the United States to consider domestic policy matters and for this reason, it has representation from the major departments of the Cabinet.  The DPC excludes economic policy matters because they are considered by the National Economic Council.

The DPC coordinates the domestic policy-making process and offers advice to the President. The DPC also monitors the implementation of domestic policy and represents the President’s priorities to Congress.  In short, the DPC ensures that the domestic policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President’s stated goals.

The DPC was known as ‘Domestic Council’ under President Richard Nixon and ‘Policy Coordinating Group’ under President George H. W. Bush.  The current title ‘Domestic Policy Council’ has been in use since President William J. Clinton.

National Economic Council

The National Economic Council (NEC), established in 1993, is part of the Executive Office of the President and operates under the Office of Policy Development.  The Director of the NEC is also titled the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.  The National Economic Council (NEC) was devised to advise the President on U.S. and global economic policy.  By Executive Order, the NEC has four principal functions:

  1. to coordinate policy-making for domestic and international economic issues,
  2. to coordinate economic policy advice for the President,
  3. to ensure that policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President’s economic goals, and
  4. to monitor implementation of the President’s economic policy agenda.

NEC plays a key role in coordinating the development of the President’s domestic and international economic programs.  The NEC also helps to coordinate the development of new initiatives that represent the President’s priorities.  Although the NEC is not an implementation agency, it periodically monitors the implementation of key initiatives to ensure that the President’s objectives are being met.

The NEC is comprised of numerous department and agency heads, within the Cabinet, that impact the nation’s economy.  Typically, more than one agency has a stake in the economic issues that are handled through the NEC process.  This requires interagency input and coordination.  The NEC Director works along with these officials to coordinate and implement the President’s economic policy objectives.  The NEC Director is supported by two Deputies with the responsibilities divided between domestic and international economic issues.  The Director is supported by a staff of policy specialists in various fields including: agriculture, commerce, energy, financial markets, fiscal policy, healthcare, labor, and Social Security.

Inside Office of Policy Development