The Senate Finance Committee will on Jan. 19 hold Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing for U.S. Treasury secretary, a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Tuesday.
Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in an announcement obtained by The Epoch Times that members will meet at 10 a.m. next Tuesday to consider the anticipated nomination of Yellen to be secretary of the Treasury under Biden’s administration.
The timing for the hearing will mean that Yellen, the former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, will appear before a panel still controlled by Republicans. Democrats will not take over control of the Senate until Jan. 20 after Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are sworn into office.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Jan. 8, 2021. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)
With the election to the Senate of two Democrats from Georgia last week, the Senate will be split 50-50. Harris will give Democrats a majority once she is sworn is. As vice president, Harris will be able to break 50-50 ties.
Yellen, 74, was the head of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018 under the Obama administration. Her term wasn’t renewed by President Donald Trump.
She is expected to easily win Senate confirmation and is most likely to be one of the first confirmed of Biden’s Cabinet picks. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to hold the position, and the oldest to hold the role in recent history.
Yellen is expected to push what she has described as “extraordinary fiscal support” to assist the COVID-19-ravaged economy.
According to financial documents (pdf) disclosed on Dec. 31, the former Federal Reserve head made more than $7 million from speeches and working with Wall Street firms over the past two years. She also worked with large companies such as Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Google, City National Bank, Salesforce, UBS, Citadel LLC, and Barclays.
The document showed that Yellen brought in more than $1 million after giving nine speeches to Citi and earned $800,000 speaking to Citadel, a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ken Griffin.
Grassley’s announcement did not elaborate on how quickly the panel will vote on Biden’s nomination of Yellen or when the nomination will be taken up by the full Senate. The former vice president is keen to get Yellen’s nomination through the Senate quickly so that she will be able to help win congressional passage of another COVID-19 relief package.
Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) speaks at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on June 17, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images)
Confirmation hearings have also been scheduled for Biden’s Defense Department pick Lloyd Austin, Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, and State Department pick Antony Blinken.
Transition officials said Tuesday that Biden plans to appoint acting agency heads across the federal government once he is sworn in due to transition delays.
”Given the stakes—with our national security on the line, and lives and jobs being lost every day—further delay in moving forward with his nominees will only hurt the American people,” transition spokesman TJ Ducklo said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “That is especially true for nominees for secretary of state, defense, Treasury and Homeland Security. Congress must act now to have confirmed agency heads in place as soon as possible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.