Yellen Agrees to Stay on as Treasury Secretary Through End of Biden’s First Term
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen agreed to remain in her position through the rest of Biden’s presidential term as the White House faces growing challenges like the need to raise the country’s borrowing limit. People began speculating about her decision as inflation increased, but inflation then eased in recent months and Democrats fared better than expected in last year’s midterm elections.
“There is a lot to do and a lot of it is going to be very hard, and it’s good for the world that Janet is still going to be there to do it,” said a White House official who asked to remain anonymous, according to Politico.
Yellen is the first woman to serve as both Treasury Secretary and Fed chair. People close to her said she considered leaving for family reasons and because the job is exceptionally political, and would only become more so with a Republican majority in the House.
During her decision-making, Yellen remained excited about the policies implemented during Biden’s term, like the millions of dollars in tax credits for electric vehicles, and new money for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax enforcement.
Her main focus in the near term is the need to raise the government’s debt limit, as many conservative Republicans are calling for sharp spending cuts first. Yellen will also be confronting the possibility of a recession, as the Federal Reserve (Fed) and other central banks hike interest rates to curb inflation.
Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary who has criticized some of the Biden administration’s spending policies in the past, said that Yellen is “a source of great stability at Treasury at a moment when so much else in politics and economics is so unstable both globally and in the United States.”