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Jan. 22, 2021, 11:01 a.m. EST

Yellen’s nomination to be U.S. Treasury secretary advances on unanimous committee vote

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Greg Robb

The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously Friday to approve Janet Yellen’s nomination to be U.S. Treasury secretary.

If confirmed by by the full Senate, Yellen would be the first female Treasury Secretary.

Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said he hoped the full Senate would be able to vote on Yellen’s confirmation later Friday.

Wyden said it was urgent that Yellen be confirmed given the high unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Mike Crapo, Republican from Idaho, said his party’s support for Yellen was a sign they wanted to “engage” in the policy process.

Sen. Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, said he hoped the unanimous vote “is a sign of things to come.”

Yellen has already been confirmed by the Senate on four occasions. She served a chairwoman of the Federal Reserve from 2014 until 2018.

During the committee’s hearing on her nomination, Yellen said the best policy was for lawmakers to “act big” to support struggling Americans even though the federal debt is rising. She said she was worried about a “scarring” of the economy, which will make it hard for unemployed workers to find work.

Yellen also championed a proposed $15 federal minimum wage. She tried to assure other countries that the Biden administration wouldn’t devalue the dollar to gain a competitive advantage.

However, Greg Valliere, chief strategist at AGF Investments, said there are signs that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is in trouble in the Senate.

“The bottom line is increasingly clear: passage of a covid bill is many weeks away,” Valliere said in a note to clients.

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