Elected President Joe Biden announced Monday that he will nominate former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen to head the Treasury Department, which tops a list of economic officials who would break racial and gender barriers in the U.S. government.
The expansion of Biden’s economic team comes after Comrade Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, first black person and first person of South Asian descent to win the Vice Presidency.
If they win Senate approval, Yellen would be the first female Treasury Department and would join the executive branch of the first African-Americans to serve as her deputy and head of the White House Economic Council, as well as the first South Asian in an important budget role.
“We are facing major challenges as a country right now. To recover, we must restore the American dream – a society where each person can increase their potential and dream even greater for their children,” Yellen tweeted after the announcement.
“As finance minister, I will work every day to rebuild that dream for everyone.”
The number one job for the 74-year-old, who previously made history as the first female Federal Reserve chief from 2014 to 2018, will help the US economy recover from the sharp decline in growth and mass layoffs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unless lawmakers can overcome their differences in the final weeks of the year, she will likely be tasked with persuading Democrats and Republicans in Congress to present a new bill to drive recovery in the midst of a month-long stalemate for new support.
“As we begin to work to control the virus, this is the team that will provide immediate financial relief to the American people during this economic crisis and help us build our economy better than ever,” Biden said in a statement announcing his appointments.
He has emphasized that he strives for diversity when choosing staff for when he takes office in January.
Biden has gone on to name his team despite Donald Trump’s continued refusal to admit defeat and his unfounded allegations of voter fraud that have been repeatedly denied by courts.
However, the reality is ending step by step on Trump and on Monday two more key states – Wisconsin and Arizona – certified their election results which show that Biden won there.
Electoral College is sure to formalize Biden’s nationwide victory when it meets on December 14.
Confirmation in question?
Yellen’s nomination was first reported last week, and Biden and Harris will present the nominees at an event on Tuesday.
Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator currently chairing the finance committee that would hold Yellen’s confirmation hearing if the party retains its current control of the House after two January elections in Georgia, told reporters she would likely have a “favorable view.”
Many of the others used for Biden’s financial team are veterans of former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Nigerian-born Wally Adeyemo, a former deputy national security adviser and current president of the Obama Foundation non-profit, was elected deputy secretary of finance. He would be the first African American in that role.
Neera Tanden, president of the Liberal think tank Center for American Progress, was elected head of the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed, she would be the first South Asian leader.
But Tanden – a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election – is facing criticism from both conservatives and progressives that could jeopardize her chances of being confirmed by the Senate.
Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, was also appointed chair of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), which would be the first African-American in that position.
Jared Bernstein, who previously advised Biden when he was vice president under Obama, will join the CEA, as will Washington Center for Equitable Growth President Heather Boushey.
Yellen would take over as Secretary of State from Steven Mnuchin, who worked with Congress to implement the $ 2.2 trillion CARES law in March that extended unemployment benefits and offered loans and grants to small businesses.
These measures were seen as keys to keeping the United States from an even worse economic downturn, but they went out over the summer and despite talks with Mnuchin, Democrats controlling the House and Republicans leading the Senate have not agreed on how much to spend, or what to spend. should spend it on.
A study from the progressive think tank Century Foundation released last week said that 12 million Americans will receive support from government programs that will expire at the end of the year.