By Alan Rappeport
The Senate confirmed Janet L. Yellen to be Treasury secretary on Monday, putting her at the forefront of navigating the fallout created by the pandemic as she advocates for President Biden’s economic agenda.
Ms. Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, was confirmed by a vote of 84 to 15 with support from both Republicans and Democrats. She is the first woman to hold the top job at Treasury in its 232-year history.
With the confirmation, she will now be thrust into the middle of negotiations over a potential $1.9 trillion economic aid package that is the chief plank of President Biden’s effort to revive the economy. The size of the plan already met with doubts from some Democrats and Republicans.
Ms. Yellen has been a clear champion of continued government support for workers and businesses, publicly warning that a lack of aid to state and local governments could slow recovery, much as it did in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
At her confirmation hearing and in written responses to lawmakers, Ms. Yellen echoed Mr. Biden’s view that Congress must “act big” to prevent the economy from faltering and defended using borrowed money to finance another aid package, saying not doing so would leave workers and families worse off.
“The relief bill late last year was just a down payment to get us through the next few months,” Ms. Yellen said. “We have a long way to go before our economy fully recovers.”
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