The Senate Finance Committee will hold Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing for U.S. Treasury secretary on Jan. 19, a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced.
Grassley, the committee’s chairman, said in a Jan. 12 statement obtained by The Epoch Times that members will meet at 10 a.m.
The timing of the hearing will mean that Yellen, the former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, will appear before a panel that’s still controlled by Republicans. Democrats won’t take control of the Senate until Jan. 20, after Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are sworn into office.
With the election of two Democrats from Georgia last week, the U.S. Senate will be split 50-50. Once Harris is sworn in on Jan. 20, she will become the tie-breaking vote, giving the Democrats effective control of the Senate.
Yellen, 74, was the head of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018 under the Obama administration. Her term wasn’t renewed by President Donald Trump.
She is expected to easily win Senate confirmation and is most likely to be one of the first confirmed of Biden’s Cabinet picks. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to hold the position, and the oldest to hold the role in recent history.
Yellen is expected to push what she has described as “extraordinary fiscal support” to assist the COVID-19-ravaged economy.
According to financial documents (pdf) disclosed on Dec. 31, the former Federal Reserve head made more than $7 million from speeches and working with Wall Street firms over the past two years. She also worked with large companies such as Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Google, City National Bank, Salesforce, UBS, Citadel LLC, and Barclays.
The document showed that Yellen brought in more than $1 million after giving nine speeches to Citi and earned $800,000 speaking to Citadel, a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ken Griffin.
Grassley’s announcement didn’t elaborate on how quickly the panel would vote on the nominee or when the nomination would be taken up by the full Senate. The former vice president is keen to get Yellen’s nomination through the Senate quickly so that she will be able to help win congressional passage of another COVID-19 relief package.
Confirmation hearings have also been scheduled for Biden’s Defense Department pick Lloyd Austin, Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, and State Department pick Antony Blinken.
Transition officials said Jan. 12 that Biden plans to appoint acting agency heads across the federal government once he’s sworn in, because of transition delays.
”Given the stakes—with our national security on the line, and lives and jobs being lost every day—further delay in moving forward with his nominees will only hurt the American people,” transition spokesman T.J. Ducklo said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “That is especially true for nominees for secretary of State, Defense, Treasury and Homeland Security. Congress must act now to have confirmed agency heads in place as soon as possible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.