Biden names 2 White House staffers to help negotiate legislation with Congress

Bart Jansen, USA TODAY

President-elect Joe Biden chose two staffers of top Democratic leaders in Congress to help his administration negotiate legislation, as he continues to fill out his White House staffing.

Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff were each named deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

Dodin works for Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the assistant minority leader. Goff works for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and became the first Black woman to serve as floor director, helping set the Democrats' legislative agenda and determining which bills reach the floor.

“The American people are eager for our Administration to get to work, and today’s appointees will help advance our agenda and ensure every American has a fair shot,” Biden said in a statement. “In a Biden administration, we will have an open door to the Hill and this team will make sure their views are always represented in the White House.”

Poll show former Vice President Joe Biden ahead.
Poll show former Vice President Joe Biden ahead.

The appointments come as Biden continues to flesh out his White House staff in preparation for taking office Jan. 20. He met Friday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, and is eager for another stimulus bill to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and to extend funding for the entire government, which is set to expire Dec. 11.

Biden is expected to begin naming Cabinet nominees on Tuesday. Biden reportedly chose Antony Blinken, a longtime confidant, to lead the State Department. And Biden said Friday he has chosen his Treasury secretary and would announce the choice around Thanksgiving.

Dodin serves as deputy chief of staff and floor director for Durbin. She previously served as Durbin’s floor counsel, research director and as an aide on the Judiciary subcommittee on human rights and the law. She is co-author of a primer on House and Senate floor procedures through the Brookings Institution.

Durbin said his loss is Biden's gain.

“Reema began as a law school intern in my office fourteen years ago and progressed to become one of the most respected staffers on the Hill," Durbin said. "She is smart, trusted and has the respect of members and staff on both sides of the aisle."

Dodin volunteered for a number of campaigns, including for President Barack Obama. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Goff served as Hoyer’s director of legislative operations when Republicans controlled the House, before she became floor director. She has also served as floor aide, floor assistant and staff assistant to Hoyer.

She graduated from the University of Tennessee and American University.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden names staffers Reema Dodin, Shuwanza Goff to deal with Congress