WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday tapped the billionaire investor Carl Icahn to be a special adviser on regulatory reform.
Icahn, 80, was an adviser to Trump during the campaign and encouraged the New York businessman to pick Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin.
"I urged Donald to consider him and work with him," Icahn said during a November interview with Fox Business News.
As special adviser to Trump, Icahn will not need to be confirmed by the Senate, but he will likely continue to play a role in the appointment process and providing a mandate for regulators to cut regulatory red tape.
"Under President Obama, America's business owners have been crippled by over $1 trillion in new regulations and over 750 billion hours dealing with paperwork. It's time to break free of excessive regulation and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities," Icahn said in a statement from the Trump transition team after the announcement. "I am proud to serve President-elect Trump as a special advisor on regulatory reform."
During the November interview with Fox, Icahn also said that he thinks the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates too low for too long and that fiscal stimulus is needed.
"When you have zero interest rates, essentially, you build bubbles … you have these bubbles because people have nowhere to put their money, so the retirees are getting hurt in this country as well as the skilled worker," Icahn said.
"I think that the government would have to take on more obligation, do more fiscal stimulus," he said. "You can't just have the Federal Reserve holding up this government, the economy for this long."
The Trump transition team statement said Icahn "will be a leader in helping American entrepreneurs shed job-killing regulations that stifle economic growth."
In the same statement, Trump said, "Carl was with me from the beginning and with his being one of the world's great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated."