Economy On the Hill

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen as First Female Head of the Treasury Dept

Last night the Senate confirmed Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury with bipartisan support. Yellen is the first woman to hold the position since Alexander Hamilton became the first Treasury Secretary 232 years ago.

“Janet Yellen is brilliant and has a track record for being unflappable,” said Greg Valliere, chief US policy strategist at AGF Investments. “She seems to be popular in all factions, from the financial markets to Main Street.”

Yellen has promised her number one priority will be working to enact the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans making under $75,000 a year, expanded unemployment benefits, and further aid for small business among other measures designed to aid in the economic recovery from the pandemic.

“She can take complicated economic theories and put them into understandable language — all while showing a real heart for the millions of Americans who are hurting through no fault of their own,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Yellen comes to the job with extensive experience, having been the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and having led the Council of Economic Advisors during the Clinton Administration. She also previously taught at UC-Berkeley.

She had repeatedly expressed her desire to enact economic policy that will swiftly help the most marginalized communities in the U.S. – particularly minorities and women, who have been the most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is hard to imagine a better prepared nominee to meet this great moment of need than Dr. Yellen,” wrote her Treasury secretary predecessors in a letter of support for her nomination. Yellen is the third member of Biden’s cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate so far.

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