The first woman to lead the Federal Reserve is set to become the first female Treasury secretary. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal and the AP that President-elect Joe Biden has tapped 74-year-old labor economist Janet Yellen, who chaired the Fed from 2014 to 2018, for the role. Yellen also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during Bill Clinton's second term. If she is confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will lead the Biden administration's efforts to help the economy recover from the pandemic, though unlike in her role in the Fed, she will have to deal with a deeply divided Congress on measures including another stimulus bill, the New York Times notes.
Yellen has long focused on reducing unemployment and fighting income inequality, though she has also warned that federal spending should be reduced to a more sustainable level. In a September interview with the Journal, she said Congress needs to spend more to fight unemployment and save small businesses. "There is a huge amount of suffering out there. The economy needs the spending," Yellen said. Politico reports that before news of the Yellen pick emerged, Biden said Democrats would be pleased with the choice. "You’ll find it is someone who I think is—will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions," he said. (Other Biden picks include a "rocker" as secretary of state.)