Joe Biden has picked former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to head the Department of the Treasury for his administration. During her introduction on Tuesday, Yellen promised to use the Treasury Department to address racial inequality, "gender disparities," and "the climate crisis."
Yellen said during the announcement in Wilmington, Del. that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing lockdowns, made problems worse for less fortunate Americans.
"So many people struggling to put food on the table and pay bills and rent. It’s an American tragedy. And it’s essential that we move with urgency. Inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation. And we miss — we risk missing the obligation to address deeper structural problems. Inequality, stagnant wages, especially for workers who lack a college education. Communities that have seen industry disappear with no good jobs replacing lost ones," Yellen said. "Racial disparities in pay, job opportunities, housing, food security, and small business lending to deny wealth building to communities of color. Gender disparities to keep women out of the workforce and keep our economy from running at full force. It’s a convergence of tragedies that is not only economically unsustainable but one that betrays our commitment to giving every American an equal chance to get ahead."
Acknowledging Biden's want to use "our collective pain as a nation" to "find collective purpose to control the pandemic and build our economy back better than before," Yellen said such efforts must involve investing "in our workforce, to advance racial equity and equity and make sure the economic recovery includes everyone. To address the climate crisis, with American ingenuity and American jobs."
"I pledge as Treasury secretary to work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all Americans. And to the great public servants of the Treasury Department, I look forward to working with you and Wally to rebuild the public trust. To the American people, we will be an institution that wakes up every morning thinking about you, your jobs, your paycheck, your struggles, your hope, your dignity, and your limitless potential," Yellen concluded.