President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury, a key role in which, according to someone familiar with the transition plans, she would shape and direct his economic policy at a dangerous time.
Widely admired in the financial world, Yellen was the first woman to head the finance department in 1789 in a line that goes back to Alexander Hamilton. Her nomination was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person who spoke to Discuss Biden's plans on condition of anonymity.
An official announcement is expected next week.
As Treasury Secretary, Yellen would face a shaky US economy that has been weakened by the pandemic recession and is now plagued by a growing viral epidemic that is putting pressure on businesses and individuals. There are growing concerns that the economy may slide into a "double-dip" recession this winter as states and cities renew restrictions on businesses and consumers to avoid getting the disease.
President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary
A pioneering figure in the male-dominated economy, 74-year-old Yellen was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair from 2014 to 2018. She later became an advisor to Biden's presidential campaign on an unusual departure from a former Fed leader that pushed her into the political arena.
74-year-old Yellen was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair from 2014 to 2018. She later became an advisor to Biden's presidential campaign on an unusual departure for a former Fed leader that pushed her into the political arena.
The Treasury position would add another new chapter to Yellen's broad and diverse career in finance policy. As secretary, she represented the administration in global financial affairs and ran a broad department whose responsibilities range from government finances and tax revenues to global foreign exchange, banking regulation and the printing of money. She would also be a key advisor to Biden and a public spokesperson for his economic agenda.
Yellen would also take on the daunting task of helping negotiate economic policy with Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican from Kentucky, who will remain the Senate majority leader if his party wins at least one of two Georgia Senate runoffs in early January.
Another woman who had fed Governor Lael Brainard was also considered. Senator Elizabeth Warren's name was also revealed weeks ago, but Biden has to worry about ripping the Senators away with two runoff elections and Democrats with 48 seats given the tight Senate margin.
Biden is bringing Secretary of State John Kerry back as part of a cabinet made up of former Obama administration officials and representatives of racial and ethnic diversity.
Kerry, who served as Secretary of State under Obama and the Democratic Party candidate in 2004, is said to be Biden's Klimazar. The two men overlapped in the Senate for years and focused on international issues.
Kerry also helped negotiate the Paris climate accord as well as the Iranian nuclear deal, both of which became targets for President Trump.
He will serve as the President's Special Envoy on Climate and serve on the White House National Security Council.
In this file photo dated Feb. 1, 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, smiles as former Secretary of State John Kerry (left) stands on the podium during a campaign freeze at the South Slope Community Center in North Liberty, Iowa, to speak
Enlisting Kerry as a close adviser shows that there aren't any harsh feelings after the former Massachusetts senator committed a flub on the camping trail after Biden stumbled early in the primaries.
Kerry was forced to put down a "damned" false report that he might run for president after being overheard in an Iowa hotel lobby discussing contingencies if rival Sen. Bernie Sanders prevailed. & # 39; As I told the reporter, I am absolutely not running for president. Every other report is damned (or categorically) wrong, ”Kerry wrote in a tweet that he immediately deleted.
Biden seeks to fill his national security team with a series of senior appointments that signal his intention to reject the Trump administration's "America First" doctrine.
The six tips announced on Monday, nearly all alumni of the Obama administration, represent a fundamental departure from President Donald Trump's politics and personnel selection. They also mark a return to and reflect a return to a more traditional approach to America's relations with the rest of the world Biden's election promise reflects that his cabinet reflects the diversity of the American people.
By selecting foreign policy veterans, Biden seeks to exacerbate Trump's war against the so-called "deep state," in which career officials emigrated from the government. He will appoint longtime advisor Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the United Nations, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor and Avril Haines as Sullivan's Deputy, and former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his envoy for be climate change.
The decisions also suggest that Biden intends to keep election promises that his cabinet will promote the diversity of the American population with Greenfield, a black woman leading the US mission to the United Nations, and Mayorkas, a Cuban-American lawyer, will be the first Latino to head Homeland Security.
They "are experienced, crisis-tested executives who are ready to take the first step on the first day," says a statement from the transition. & # 39; These officials will work immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and redefine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the crucial challenges of our time – from infectious diseases through to Terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats to climate change. & # 39;
Biden Ally Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) Said, "In addition to their decades of national security and external relations work, these nominees are really good people and team players who work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of the United States."
Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be Biden's candidate for UN ambassador
Alejandro Mayorkas is Biden's candidate to head the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that has faced controversy over child separation on the border
Biden plans to appoint Antony Blinken as Secretary of State
Antony Blinken's nomination in the state avoids potential controversy.
Former UN Ambassador Susan Rice would have received significant opposition and likely rejection in the Senate. She has long been a Republican target, including for statements she made following the 2012 deadly attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Another potential candidate, Coons, would have been a headache to quit the Senate as other Democratic Senators are considered for administrative posts and the party hopes to win back the Senate. The control depends on the outcome of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.
At the announcements, Biden made plans to fill his administration out, despite Trump refusing to admit defeat in the November 3 elections, pursuing unfounded legal challenges in several key states, and working to obstruct the transition process.
Mayorkas would take over an agency affected by controversy over the Trump administration's child separation policy at the border in 2019
The stakes for a smooth transition are particularly high this year as Biden will take office amid the worst pandemic in more than a century, which containment is likely to require a full government response.
Perhaps the most famous of them is Kerry, who made climate change a top priority when he was Obama's Secretary of State.
"America will soon have a government that sees the climate crisis as its pressing national security threat," said Kerry. "I am proud to work with the president-elect, our allies and the young leaders of the climate movement to address this crisis as the president's climate commissioner."
Sullivan, who will be one of the youngest national security advisers in history at 43, was a top advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before becoming the national security adviser to then Vice President Biden. He said the president-elect "taught me what it takes to ensure our national security at the highest levels of our government."
"Now he's asked me to act as his national security advisor," Sullivan said. "In the service I will do everything in my power to protect our country."
The positions of Kerry, Sullivan and Haines do not require Senate approval.
Blinken, 58, was Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Advisor during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. If nominated and confirmed, he would be a leading force in the new administration's attempt to reshape US relations with the rest of the world after four years of challenging longstanding alliances with President Donald Trump.
Blinken recently attended a national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, addressing major foreign policy issues in Egypt and Ethiopia publicly.
Blinken would inherit a deeply demoralized and exhausted workforce at the State Department. Trump's two secretaries of state, Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo, offered weak resistance to attempts by the administration to core the agency, which were only thwarted by interference from Congress.
Although the department has avoided massive proposed cuts to its budget of more than 30% for three consecutive years, it has seen a significant number of exits from its higher and rising middle ranks, many of which diplomats have chosen to retire or retire leaving abroad service in the face of limited prospects for advancement under an administration they believe does not value their expertise.
A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School and a longstanding Democratic foreign policy presence, Blinken has joined numerous former senior national security officials who have called for a major reinvestment in American diplomacy and a renewed emphasis on global engagement.
"Democracy is on the decline all over the world, and unfortunately it is on the decline at home too, because the president brings two times four to his institutions, values and people every day," Blinken told The Associated in September Press. “Our friends know that Joe Biden knows who they are. So do our opponents. That difference would be noticeable on the first day. & # 39;
Blinken served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration before becoming Chief of Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was chairman of the panel. Blinken returned to NSC in the early years of the Obama administration, serving as Vice President Biden's national security adviser before moving to the State Department to serve as Deputy Secretary of State John Kerry.
Biden is committed to building the most diverse government in modern history, and he and his team often speak of their desire for his government to reflect America. He is being watched whether he will make history by nominating the first woman to head the Pentagon, Treasury, or Veterans Department, or the first African American to head the Department of Defense, the Home Office, or the Treasury.
Ron Klain, Biden's new chief of staff, said Sunday that the Trump administration's refusal to give Biden's team access to critical information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition is affecting planning, including the cabinet selection process. Trump's General Services Administration has yet to acknowledge that Biden won the election – a determination that would remove these obstacles.
& # 39; We are unable to provide background information on cabinet candidates. And so there are certain effects. Those effects are escalating every day, "Klain told ABC's This Week."
Contributors to this report were Associate Press Writers Julie Pace in Washington, Alexandra Jaffe in Wilmington, Delaware, and Bill Barrow in Atlanta.
FILE – In this January 9, 2014 file, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, right, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to win longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US ambassador to the United Nations. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
FILE – In this January 9, 2020 file photo, Former Secretary of State John Kerry smiles as he speaks during a campaign freeze to former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic Vice President nominee Joe Biden, at President Fort Dodge's office in Fort Dodge, Iowa support. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE – This Thursday, September 29, 2016, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. Blinken is the leading candidate for Joe Biden's appointment as secretary of state, according to several people familiar with the planning of the Biden team. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana, File)
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