U.S. Senate confirms Janet Yellen as Treasury chief

Raphael Oni with Agency news

The U.S. Senate on Monday voted 84-15 to confirm Janet Yellen as chief of the Treasury Department, making her the first woman to serve as U.S. Treasury Secretary in the department’s 231-year history. 

All 15 no votes came from Republicans.

At a confirmation hearing last week, Yellen said her first task as Treasury Secretary will be helping Americans endure the final months of this pandemic and keeping people safe while getting them back to work.

Her role will be critical in the first weeks of the new administration as she will serve as the key negotiator with Congress in the bid to win approval for President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion rescue package to help the U.S. economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The 74-year-old economist was also the first female to lead the Federal Reserve, from 2014 to 2018, and previously the White House Council of Economic Advisors. 

She is the third of Biden’s Cabinet nominees to be confirmed by the Senate following Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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