By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Author
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen is asking on Congress to do extra to battle a deep pandemic-induced recession, saying the threats of an extended and even worse downturn are too nice to chop again on help now.
“With out additional motion, we danger an extended, extra painful recession now — and long-term scarring of the financial system later,” Yellen mentioned in testimony ready for her affirmation listening to Tuesday earlier than the Senate Finance Committee.
Yellen, who would be the first feminine treasury secretary within the nation’s historical past, is anticipated to have little bother profitable approval in a Senate that can be narrowly managed by Democrats as soon as two Democratic senators from Georgia are seated.
In her testimony, Yellen, who was additionally the nation’s first feminine chair of the Federal Reserve, mentioned that the short motion Congress took by passing trillion-dollar rescue packages final spring and an extra $900 billion aid measure final month have been profitable in “averting a variety of struggling.”
However she mentioned that even with the extraordinary authorities assist, the pandemic has nonetheless induced “widespread devastation.”
“Eighteen million unemployment insurance coverage claims are being paid each week. Meals financial institution cabinets are going empty. The injury has been sweeping and because the president-elect mentioned final Thursday, our response have to be too,” Yellen mentioned.
“Over the subsequent few months, we’re going to want extra help to distribute the vaccine, to reopen faculties, to assist states maintain firefighters and lecturers on the job,” Yellen mentioned. She mentioned extra help would even be wanted to maintain unemployment profit checks going out and to assist households who’re going hungry or in peril of being homeless.
Biden final week unveiled a $1.9 trillion aid plan that would offer extra help to American households, companies and native communities and supply extra help for vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
Whereas Democrats have endorsed the trouble, many Republican lawmakers have expressed considerations in regards to the price ticket given hovering federal price range deficits.
Yellen mentioned that she and Biden have been conscious of the nation’s rising debt burden.
“However proper now, with rates of interest at historic lows, the neatest factor we will do is act large,” she mentioned. “In the long term, I consider the advantages will far outweigh the prices, particularly if we care about serving to individuals who have been struggling for a really very long time.”
The Senate Finance Committee listening to with Yellen on Tuesday is certainly one of a number of that the Senate can be holding because the incoming Biden administration tries to get its high Cupboard officers in workplace shortly.
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