Biden economic plans challenged at Yellen hearing

Biden economic plans challenged at Yellen hearing
Employers cut jobs in December, ending a string of job gains. Retail sales have dropped in recent months, while jobless claims rise.

"Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now and longer term scarring of the economy later," Ms Yellen said.

Both Republicans and Democrats have indicated they will approve Ms Yellen s nomination.

But Republican Senator Chuck Grassley provided an early glimpse of the stiff resistance the Biden administration is likely to face as it presses for emergency pandemic relief, as well as a larger package of spending focused on infrastructure, climate friendly jobs and other priorities.

"With the trillions already in the pipeline and close to $1tn in relief enacted just a few years ago, it is very important to focus efforts on the pandemic relief," Mr Grassley said.

"Now is not the time to enact a laundry list of liberal structural economic reforms."

Ms Yellen said investment was necessary to make the US economy competitive and addressed concerns about the impact on American borrowing.

"Neither the president-elect nor I proposed this relief package without an appreciation of the country s debt burden but right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big," she said.

"In the longer run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a long time."
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