Biden expected to nominate Janet Yellen for treasury secretary


Washington — President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Janet Yellen, former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, to lead the Treasury Department, two sources familiar with the process told CBS News. The president-elect is also expected to name Cecilia Rouse to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, two people familiar with the matter said. 

Both the selections of Yellen and Rouse would make history, as Yellen would be the first woman to serve as treasury secretary if she is confirmed by the Senate, and Rouse would be the first woman of color to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.

Despite President Trump’s false assertions he won the presidential election, Mr. Biden has charged ahead with the presidential transition, announcing top members of his administration and senior White House aides. Last week, the president-elect introduced the nation to several Cabinet nominees and national security and foreign policy appointees, and this week, Mr. Biden is expected to announce members of his economic team. The president-elect plans to nominate Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, to serve as his first White House budget director.

Like with the expected appointments of Yellen and Rouse, several of Mr. Biden’s Cabinet picks would  break barriers.

A labor economist who currently serves as professor emerita at the University of California at Berkeley, Yellen was also the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, a position she held from 2014 to 2018. She was confirmed with bipartisan support for that post. Mr. Trump selected Jerome Powell to succeed Yellen as chair of the central bank. She also chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 1999.

Rouse, meanwhile, served on the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration and is the dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Mr. Biden’s expected selection of Yellen was lauded by Democrats, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who called the former Fed chair an “outstanding choice” who has “stood up to Wall Street banks.” Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said last week he looks forward “to discussing with [Yellen] a variety of issues, especially the requirement for CARES Act temporary emergency lending facilities to shut down by year-end and remain shut down, absent congressional action.”

The president-elect and his economic team are set to take office after the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, with millions of Americans out of work, local and state governments facing a cash crunch, and businesses nationwide struggling to remain afloat. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been engaged for months in negotiations over another coronavirus economic package that would provide much-needed relief to Americans, but have been unable to reach a deal.

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