Yellen: Biden stimulus plan fastest way to bring economy back to pre-pandemic levels

Yellen: Biden stimulus plan fastest way to bring economy back to pre-pandemic levels
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Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenDemocrats offer bill to raise debt ceiling, avoid filibuster Treasury rules would crack down on anonymous shell companies The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - New vaccine mandate in NYC; Biden-Putin showdown MORE said Sunday that she supports President Biden's plan for a large stimulus package, currently proposed at $1.9 trillion, calling it the best way to get the U.S. economy back to pre-pandemic levels.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Yellen explained that while the president was committed to working with "all members of Congress," the administration was more interested in passing a plan that addressed all of the needs brought forth by COVID-19.

"There's absolutely no reason we should suffer through a slow recovery," Yellen said Sunday, adding: "I would expect if this package is passed, that we would get back to full employment next year."

When asked whether Biden would support a plan passed with zero Republican votes, as well as concerns from moderate Democrats that the cutoff for direct relief payments in the plan is too high, Yellen appeared to side with progressives who have warned that Biden should worry about going too small, rather than too big, with the proposal.

"We need a big package, and we need to get this done quickly," Yellen said. On the GOP's proposal for a smaller package, secretary said: "He wants to make sure all the needs of the American people are addressed."

"[I] know the details need to be worked out, and the president is willing to work with Congress," Yellen continued, while adding of the calls from some Democrats to lower the cutoff for direct payments to $50,000 for individuals: "Middle class families need help too."

Yellen's comments come amid a resurgent effort from progressives in both the House and Senate to urge the administration against heeding calls from centrists such as Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Senate votes to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses MORE (D-W.V.) to lower the cutoffs for direct payments in the stimulus package.

Democrats appear to be ready to pass the package with little or no Republican support after a proposal offered by GOP senators last week for a new stimulus package was rejected during a meeting with the president as too small.