Joe Biden Win Formally Acknowledged, Names Janet Yellen Treasury Secretary
November 24, 2020 at 06:07 AM EST
The transition of U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden is in now in full swing. After weeks of stalling, the administration of current U.S. President Donald Trump has given permission for the General Service Administration to release millions of dollars to incoming President Joe Biden’s transition team, as well as access to security briefings and senior government officials. The move triggers a formal transition process, giving Biden and his team access to current agency officials, briefing books, some $6 million in funding and other government resources. Biden is moving quickly to establish his administration, announcing several high-profile cabinet appointments on Monday, including nominating former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as his Treasury Secretary. Biden is likely to find support for Yellen from both Wall Street, which feared a more provocative pick such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, and progressives, who were concerned he might choose someone too friendly to big banks and the wealthy. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen, 74, would have to help steer the U.S. economy through a resurgent pandemic that is already causing parts of the nation to resume lockdowns. The most immediate challenge would be breaking a logjam on Capitol Hill to deliver economic relief to long and growing unemployment lines. Nine months into the pandemic, more than six million people still claim extended unemployment assistance and joblessness is again on the rise as U.S. coronavirus infections exceed 100,000 per day. Yellen served as head of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and later became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and vice chairman of the central bank’s board in Washington. In 2014, President Barack Obama chose her to become the first woman to chair the Fed. She was in the job for one term, leaving after Trump passed her over for Jerome Powell in 2018. She is currently a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution. During Yellen’s time as Federal Reserve Chair, technology stocks doubled even as she presided over the first interest rate increases in 11 years.