U.S. Senate panel approves Yellen's nomination as treasury secretary

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-23 00:50:37|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Friday unanimously approved President Joe Biden's nomination of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be the next U.S. treasury secretary.

The Senate panel approved Yellen's nomination by a vote of 26-0, sending it to the full Senate for final confirmation, which could come as soon as Friday afternoon.

"I hope that President Biden realizes that the treatment of Dr. Yellen's nomination in this Committee signals interest by me and my Republican colleagues in working cooperatively and in a bipartisan way," Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Friday.

"We want to work on policy issues to help all Americans, and are not interested in cancerous culture wars that serve only to divide the country," Grassley said.

Yellen, a 74-year-old well-regarded economist, is not expected to face any serious opposition from U.S. senators.

"As I noted earlier, her nomination triggered the most favorable reaction to any I can remember -- economists, politicians and market participants," Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, tweeted Friday.

At a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Yellen urged U.S. Congress to "act big" with a new COVID-19 relief package as the economic recovery is losing momentum amid surging coronavirus cases.

"Economists don't always agree, but I think there is a consensus now: Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now -- and long-term scarring of the economy later," Yellen said.

Biden last week unveiled a 1.9-trillion-U.S.-dollar COVID-19 relief proposal, which draws opposition from a growing number of congressional Republicans. It's unclear whether the Biden administration would secure enough votes for a new massive relief package.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to serve as U.S. treasury secretary in the department's 231 years of history. She would also be the first person to have served as treasury secretary, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and chair of the Federal Reserve. Enditem