US: Senate Finance Committee votes in favour of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary

The Senate Finance Committee has unanimously approved the nomination of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary: she could soon become the first woman to hold this position.

Janet Yellen, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, is now very close to the post of US Treasury Secretary.

The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve Yellen’s nomination, setting the stage for a full vote on the Senate floor. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley hopes the GOP endorsement signals „bipartisan“ support for the new Democratic administration.

Fellow Republicans said they supported Yellen despite Immediate Edge disagreeing with many of her policy positions. The general consensus was that she was exceptionally qualified for the job.

Committee members had hoped for a Senate vote to confirm Yellen’s nomination on Friday, but that has yet to happen

If elected Treasury Secretary, Yellen would become a key member of President Biden’s cabinet team: she would act as a principal adviser on economic issues and fiscal policy. She would also be the first woman to hold the position.

At her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Yellen called for „big action“ to respond to the Covid-19 crisis:

„Economists don’t always agree, but I think there’s a lowest common denominator now: without further action, we risk a longer and more painful recession now, and long-term damage to the economy later.“

Yellen led the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018, becoming the first woman to do so. Under her leadership, the central bank made an initial attempt to normalise monetary policy, an initiative that was later abandoned by Jerome Powell.

The cryptocurrency industry followed Yellen’s appointment process closely, as she expressed mixed views on cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, she promoted Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets, saying they represent an important innovation in global payments; on the other, she expressed fears about the role of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and illicit financing.

The last days of the Trump administration caused major concerns in the crypto sector, after then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tried to impose new regulations for self-directed cryptocurrency wallets.

On his first day in office, President Biden imposed a blanket freeze on all regulations pending review: in doing so, he blocked many decisions put in place by the Trump administration, including those on crypto wallets.