President-elect Joe Biden officially unveiled former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary nominee with a vow to get the economy humming again soon.
The incoming president also named his entire economic team including liberal Neera Tanden as budget czar and Princeton economist Cecilia Rouse as head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
“This is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people,” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden said in a statement. “(They will) help us build our economy back better than ever.”
The team, with three women in key leadership roles, reflects Biden’s insistence on building a diverse cabinet that “looks like America.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, herself the first woman of color to serve as VP, echoed that pledge, calling the economic team “proven leaders who reflect the very best of our country.”
“They share a fundamental commitment to ending this economic crisis and putting America back to work,” Harris said.
Biden’s team will face the difficult task of quickly reviving the sputtering U.S. economy as the nation grapples with a punishing surge in the coronavirus pandemic.
He comes into office with a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, where Democrats unexpectedly lost seats. The Senate will be in Republican hands unless Democrats can sweep two run-offs in Georgia.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not likely to be forthcoming with a new COVID-19 relief package.
It remains to be seen whether Biden will get a free hand to appoint his team.
Yellen is a familiar face to Americans from her days as Fed Chair during the Obama administration. She should have few problems winning Senate confirmation.
But Tanden is a well-known lightning rod for conservatives and could face resistance if the GOP keeps the Senate.
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