Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary: report

President-elect Joe Biden will name former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary nominee, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Yellen, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, would be the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary. She had been seen as a top candidate for the position, and one who could probably be confirmed by the Senate even if it is in GOP hands after the results of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.

The Senate in 2014 confirmed Yellen as Fed chair in a 56-26 vote, though many of the Republicans who backed her then are no longer members of the Senate.

Yellen’s nomination would be the latest signal of Biden’s effort to set up a diverse Cabinet. On Monday he announced he would nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to serve as Homeland Security secretary, Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence and Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was seen as a top contender for the post, and some of her supporters are likely to be disappointed that Biden did not choose to nominate her for the position.

Yellen, 74, became the first woman to chair the Fed board of governors in 2014, leading the central bank’s efforts to bolster the recovery from the Great Recession. Her insistence on keeping interest rates near zero for much of her tenure laid the groundwork for a major shift in the way the Fed balances unemployment and inflation, though some progressives have criticized the rate hikes during the second half of her tenure.

Still, the pick seems to have largely drawn support from progressive groups.

“Janet Yellen would faithfully implement the ambitious agenda Biden campaigned on. Someone from Wall Street would seek every opportunity to undermine it from within,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said on CNN.

Democracy for America, another progressive group, called Yellen “a historic, progressive choice.”

President Trump declined to nominate Yellen for a second four-year term when her term expired in 2018. Her Republican successor, Jerome Powell, had voted in lockstep with Yellen on interest rates and led the Fed’s efforts to formalize its new emphasis on reducing unemployment.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first person to chair the Fed, lead the Treasury Department and serve as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers — a position she held from 1997 to 1999 during the Clinton administration.

Niv Elis contributed. Updated at 4:30 p.m.

Tags Biden cabinet Department of the Treasury Donald Trump economists Elizabeth Warren Janet Yellen Joe Biden Treasury Department
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