Janet Yellen, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, is one step closer to getting the nomination as Secretary of the Treasury.
The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously on Friday morning to approve Yellen’s nomination, paving the way for a full vote in the Senate. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said he hoped the support of the GOP would signal “bipartisan” support under the new Democratic government.
Fellow Republicans said they supported Yellen despite disagreeing on some of her policy positions. The general consensus was that she was exceptionally qualified for the job.
Committee members hoped for a full Senate vote to confirm Yellen’s nomination on Friday, but as of publication, that has yet to happen.
Appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Yellen will become a key member of President Biden’s cabinet and will serve as a senior adviser on economic issues and tax policy. She would also be the first woman to hold the post.
During her Senate hearing on Tuesday, Yellen called for “major action” in connection with the Covid-19 crisis. They said:
“Economists don’t always agree, but I think there is now a consensus: without further action, we now risk a longer, more painful recession – and later long-lasting scars from the economy.”
Yellen headed the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018, becoming the first woman to do so. Under her leadership, the central bank made her first try in normalizing monetary policy – an initiative that was later curtailed under Jerome Powell.
The cryptocurrency industry is closely following Yellen’s nomination process. The former Fed chief has sent mixed signals about digital assets. On the one hand she has touted Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets as a major innovation in optimizing global transactions. On the other hand, she has increased concerns about the role of crypto in money laundering and illegal financing.
The closing days of the Trump administration caused widespread concern in the cryptocurrency industry after then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tried to speed up new rules targeting self-hosted crypto wallets.
On his first day at the office, President Biden placed a general freeze across all federal agency regulations, effectively blocking various Trump-era policies. The proposed crypto wallet regulation was one of them.