http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/21/art.bidenpresser.gi.jpg caption="Vice President-elect Joe Biden will head a new task force on working families on Jaunary 20, 2009."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Come Inauguration day, newly minted Vice President Joe Biden will add one more task to his job title: working families czar, so-to-speak.
On Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama's transition team announced the new "White House Task Force on Working Families" - a major initiative targeted at "raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America." The initiative will be chaired by Biden.
Other members of the task force will include: Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Commerce, as well as the Directors of the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Counsel, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.
In an interview with ABC's "This Week," Biden said it's a "discrete job that's going to last only for a certain period of time."
"The one thing that we use as a yardstick of economic success of our administration: Is the middle class growing? Is the middle class getting better? Is the middle class no longer being left behind? And we'll look at everything from college affordability to after school programs ... I will be the guy honchoing that policy," he said.
Biden said he will have the authority to get a consensus among the task force - but will use his relationship with the president if a consensus isn't reached.
"If in fact there is no consensus, [I'd] go to the president of the United States and say, 'Mr. President, I think we should be doing this, cabinet member so and so thinks that. You're going to have to resolve what it is we think we should do.'"
Obama has set up several key goals for the task force, including: Expanding education and training; improving work and family balance; a focus on labor standards, including workplace safety; protecting working-family incomes and retirement security.
So what power will the new task force have in shaping policy? According to the transition team, Biden and other members "will expedite administrative reforms, propose Executive orders, and develop legislative and public policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families."
"My administration will be absolutely committed to the future of America's middle-class and working families. They will be front and center every day in our work in the White House," said Obama in a statement. "And this Task Force will be one vehicle we will use to ensure that we never forget that commitment."
And in line with the Obama team's pledge of full transparency, the task force will issue annual reports, available online to the public.
Anna Burger, chairwoman of Change To Win - a group made up of seven unions - hailed today's announcement.
"Today's announcement shows that President-elect Obama is committed to middle class families and change truly is coming to Washington. Working people finally have an administration that is willing and eager to take action to address their needs," she said in a statement. "The White House Task Force on Working Families is a vital first step toward restoring our economy and making government work for working people again."