Finance

Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation

Deputy Treasury Secretary nominee Adewale Adeyemo
Greg Nash

Wally Adeyemo appears on track for a swift, uncontroversial Senate confirmation as the first Black deputy Treasury secretary following a laudatory reception at the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the confirmation hearing praised Adeyemo’s experience, which consists of a mix of private and public sector jobs.

“Wally Adeyemo is an ideal choice to serve as deputy secretary,” Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said at the hearing, pointing to Adeyemo’s domestic and international economic experience, and his previous experience with the Finance Committee itself.

Adeyemo would serve as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s deputy. Yellen, the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary, was confirmed with strong bipartisan support in a 84-15 vote in late January.

Ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) was also quick to note Adeyemo’s extensive experience, noting his private sector work with BlackRock, and his years at Treasury and the National Economic Council and his work representing American economic interests at major international confabs and trade negotiations.

Crapo also praised his past efforts at bipartisanship, and pressed him to extend those efforts under the Biden administration.

“COVID relief is just one example of an area where the deputy secretary has played an active role in the past toward bipartisan solutions, and I look forward to working with you, Mr. Adeyemo, to achieve that same result this time as we move forward,” he said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee’s former chairman, said that while he had policy disagreements with Adeyemo, his qualifications merited confirmation.

In her first hearing as a committee member, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) noted Adeyemo’s role as the first chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, her brainchild, “where he worked miracle after miracle.”

The adulation didn’t stop Warren from pressing Adeyemo on using the Financial Stability Oversight Council to address economic inequality.

Adeyemo would only promise to use “all the tools of the Treasury Department,” and deferred to Yellen without making a specific commitment.

At the hearing, Adeyemo also addressed questions on trade, sanctions on China, climate and racial inequality.

His answers followed the Biden administration’s approach of engaging allies to form stronger multilateral approaches on international issues, and whole-of-government responses to issues such as climate change and racial inequality.

Tags Chuck Grassley Elizabeth Warren Janet Yellen Mike Crapo National Economic Council Ron Wyden Treasury Department Wally Adeyemo

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