Treasury nominee Janet Yellen called for “major” action in the Senate confirmation hearing

Janet YellenPresident-elect Joe Biden, the chancellor of the exchequer, called for “major” action on the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis at the Senate appointment hearing on Tuesday. The Senate held hearings on Tuesday to endorse Yellen and more key members Mr. Biden’s office.

“Economists don’t always agree,” Yellen argued, “but I think there is a consensus now: Without further action, we risk a longer and more painful recession now – and long-term scars to the economy at a later time.”

When asked what could provide the most “push for money” in economic relief, Yellen replied, “The relief we give to those who need it most and to small businesses has the best chance of providing relief to those who have been severely affected by the pandemic and creating a great deal of spending. For every dollar spent. ” This, she said, would “create jobs throughout the economy.”

Her call to action came just days after Mr Biden laid out a Franklin Roosevelt-style vision to control the coronavirus and tackle the economic crisis that has caused millions of people to stop working since early last year.

“Over the next few months, we will need more aid to distribute the vaccine, to reopen schools, to help states keep firefighters and teachers at work,” Yellen told Congress. “We will need more funding to make sure unemployment checks continue to be cashed out; to help families at risk of starvation or losing the roof over their heads.”

Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout It includes provisions such as extending improved unemployment benefits until September and increasing those benefits from $ 300 this week to $ 400 per week, direct family benefits in the form of checks for $ 1,400, a national vaccine distribution plan and a series of other relief measures. Yilin admitted a price of $ 1.9 trillion on Tuesday.

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“Neither the president-elect nor I am proposing this exemption package without estimating the country’s debt burdens,” Yellen said. “But right now, with interest rates dropping to historically low levels, the smartest thing we can do is act big. And in the long run, I think the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care to help people who are struggling for a very long time. . “

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman Yellen asked about the Treasury Secretary’s role in being the voice of the “financial mind” in the administration. She told him that in the short term, she “feels we can handle what it takes to get the economy back on its feet and get us out of the epidemic.” She pointed to research in other countries that often indicated that, “Spending money tackling a weak economy ends up creating a burden. Less debt in the long term than the failure to provide this support. ”

“We have to make sure at the end that the deficit that we face, if we do, is compatible with financial sustainability,” Yellen said, but noted that “the world has changed.” Yellen expects interest rates to remain low for an extended period, although she also said that high interest rates pose a risk that should be taken into account “when crafting a sustainable and responsible policy”.

Yellen, who previously served as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, said she believes the Treasury Secretary has a dual mission: to help Americans get through the pandemic and get back to work as well as rebuild the economy so American workers can compete globally.

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Yellen was one of five Biden candidates to testify before the Senate committees on Tuesday. Designated Foreign Minister Tony is flashingDefense Minister appointed retired general Lloyd AustinDesignated Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayuras And Director of National Intelligence April Haines He also appeared in front of Senators.

If confirmed, Yellen would be the first woman to serve as treasury secretary in the department’s 230-year history. She was also previously the first woman to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve.

Adam Brewster contributed to this report.

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