Janet Yellen, the Biden administration’s nominee for Treasury, plans on Tuesday to tell the Senate Finance Committee that the US government must “act big” to address the effects of the coronavirus.
Joe Biden, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, last week outlined a $ 1.9 trillion economic aid package, saying investment is needed to kickstart the economy and accelerate vaccine distribution.
“Neither the President-elect nor I offer this aid package without considering the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historically low levels, the wisest thing we can do is go big, ”Yellen said in her prepared opening remarks.
“I believe the benefits far outweigh the costs, especially if we are concerned about helping people who have been in distress for a very long time,” Reuters quoted the statement as saying.
The proposed aid package includes $ 415 billion to support the U.S. fight against the virus and vaccine distribution, about $ 1 trillion in direct assistance to families, and about $ 440 billion for the business community.
Many Americans will receive additional payments of $ 1,400. Unemployment insurance benefits will increase to $ 400 a week from the current $ 300 and will be extended until September.
Yellen also notes that the US economy needs to be rebuilt “to create conditions for more people to flourish and to ensure that American workers can compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.”
Democrat Senator Ron Weyden, a Democrat who is set to take over as chairman of the committee, said in a statement that “no one is more qualified for the economic recovery post than Yellen.”
Wyden added that Tuesday’s hearing “will provide an excellent opportunity to hear about what worked and what didn’t during the Great Recession, and what needs to be done to get the economy back on track.”
Yellen will replace Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin if the Senate approves her candidacy.