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Schumer punts Yellen confirmation as treasury secretary to Monday

By Jean Lotus & Danielle Haynes
Schumer punts Yellen confirmation as treasury secretary to Monday
Treasury Secretary-designate Janet Yellen is seen Wednesday while attending the inauguration of President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that the full chamber will consider Janet Yellen's nomination to be treasury secretary Monday.

The move came after the Senate Committee on Finance voted 26-0 to send Yellen's nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Schumer initially indicated the chamber would vote on her confirmation Friday, but the process was delayed.

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If confirmed, Yellen, 74, who was the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, will also be the first woman to helm the Treasury Department.

Even though some Republicans disagreed with the financial cost of Yellen's plan to ease the way for a proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, others said it's important to get Biden's economic team into place as soon as possible.

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"This is an urgent nomination," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Friday when the committee met to weigh her nomination.

"Janet Yellen will work with us to deliver a strong economic package."

"I have a number of strong disagreements with Ms. Yellen on her tax policy," added Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. "But she has committed that she will work with us on the issues and concerns that we have."

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Yellen told the finance committee during her testimony Tuesday that the focus of the Treasury would be to deliver COVID-19 relief to Americans and help those economically hurt by the pandemic.

"I will make it a priority on day one to give support to workers and small businesses and putting it into effect as quickly and efficiently as I can ... to get through these dark times," Yellen said.

Yellen also said the United States risks a longer and "more painful recession" without a quick stimulus laid out in Biden's proposal, including a new $1,400 direct payment to most Americans.

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