By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Author
WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen, sworn in Tuesday because the nation’s 78th Treasury secretary and the primary lady to carry the workplace, stated in a message to the division’s 84,000 staff that they might play a serious function in addressing the nation’s largest financial challenges.
“Along with the pandemic, the nation can also be going through a local weather disaster, a disaster of systemic racism and an financial disaster that has been constructing for 50 years,” Yellen stated in her message. “I consider our division can play a serious function in addressing every of those crises.”
She was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, the primary lady elected to the place, at a ceremony carried out outdoors on the East Wing entrance to the White Home in view of the division Yellen will now lead. Yellen’s husband, George Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel prize in economics, and their son Robert, additionally an economist, have been current for the transient ceremony.
In her message to Treasury staff, Yellen stated she can be conducting a digital listening tour within the subsequent few weeks to fulfill with staff to get their views on how the division can do a greater job of addressing the crises going through the nation.
“We should assist the American individuals endure the ultimate months of this pandemic by ensuring they’ve roofs over their head and meals on the desk,” Yellen stated. “Then, we should help them in getting again to work safely.”
Yellen stated it is going to be vital to then flip to addressing what she referred to as a Ok-shaped financial system the place some individuals have carried out very nicely with “wealth constructed on wealth whereas sure segments of the inhabitants fell additional and additional behind.”
Treasury stated that Yellen spent her first day on the job assembly just about along with her advisers and profession staff in addition to getting an replace on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 reduction plan.
Yellen turned the third of Biden’s Cupboard nominees to win Senate approval on a vote of 84-15 late Monday. All the no votes got here from Republican senators.
The administration has emphasised the necessity to get its nominees authorised shortly given the threats going through the nation from a world pandemic and a slumping financial system.
Yellen is predicted to play a key function in gaining congressional approval of Biden’s reduction bundle, which is operating into stiff opposition from Republicans who consider the worth tag is simply too excessive.
Talking on the Senate flooring earlier than Monday’s vote, Democratic Majority Chief Chuck Schumer famous the previous Federal Reserve chairwoman had bipartisan help.
Schumer stated Yellen has a “breathtaking vary of expertise” and help for her nomination mirrored “simply how nicely suited she is to handle the financial challenges of our time … notably throughout this second of financial disaster.”
Earlier than the approval by the total Senate, Yellen had acquired unanimous backing from the Senate Finance Committee. Republicans on the panel stated they’d coverage disagreements with Yellen and the Biden administration in such areas as elevating taxes on firms and the rich, however believed it was vital to permit Biden to assemble his financial workforce shortly.
At her affirmation listening to earlier than the Finance Committee final week, Yellen argued that with out immediate motion the nation confronted the specter of a “longer, extra painful recession.” She urged fast motion on the reduction bundle that would offer a further $1,400 in funds to people making beneath $75,000 yearly in addition to offering expanded unemployment advantages, additional help for small companies and help for cities and states to stop layoffs.
The plan additionally gives extra help for vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
However many GOP senators have pushed again on the proposal. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, advised Yellen that Biden’s plan represented a “laundry record of liberal structural financial reforms.”
As Treasury secretary, Yellen, 74, will occupy a pivotal function in shaping and directing Biden’s financial insurance policies. She enters the Treasury job after a few years serving in different high financial jobs, together with as the primary lady to function chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.
An economist by coaching who was a professor on the College of California at Berkeley, Yellen will characterize the Biden administration in world monetary affairs and lead a sprawling division whose obligations cowl overseeing IRS tax collections, making coverage on banking laws and serving because the administration’s contact with Wall Avenue.
In her earlier roles, Yellen developed an experience in areas starting from labor markets to worldwide finance. Publicly, she ceaselessly signaled concern about how financial insurance policies have an effect on strange individuals, particularly deprived communities.
She drew excessive marks for her stewardship on the Fed, the place she employed record-low rates of interest and large bond shopping for, two insurance policies begun by her predecessor Ben Bernanke, to help the financial system because it struggled to emerge from a deep recession. She’s going to now confront a brand new disaster introduced on by a world pandemic.
Since leaving the Fed, Yellen has been a distinguished fellow in residence on the Brookings Establishment, a liberal Washington suppose tank.
In keeping with monetary disclosure varieties she offered throughout her affirmation, she collected greater than $7 million in talking charges throughout greater than 50 in-person and digital engagements over the previous two years, together with with many Wall Avenue companies. Yellen has agreed to recuse herself from choices that might have an effect on sure monetary organizations.
Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.