In what the Treasury Department is calling a "historic vote," the Senate, confirmed Janet Yellen as the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department.
The 74-year old will serve on an economics team that President Joe Biden says "will deliver economic relief" to the nation.
The confirmation came days after Yellen earned unanimous support from both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.
"Secretary Yellen has the deep experience to meet this moment and get the economy back on track, strengthen the financial system, and restore jobs," read a press release from the department. As the first woman to lead the Treasury Department — and the first person to have ever served as Treasury Secretary, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Chair of the Federal Reserve — Secretary Yellen is a strong, crisis-tested leader prepared to address the urgent economic and financial policy decisions facing the nation."
Yellen also enjoys the support of the 1.4 million-member trade association National Association of Realtors (NAR), according to Charlie Oppler, President.
"Because affordable mortgages have both sparked the real estate market to be a rare bright spot in a struggling economy and expanded the benefits of homeownership more broadly amongst America’s diverse communities, NAR believes Ms. Yellen’s reputation as a dove on interest rates bodes well for the housing market," Oppler said via a letter in support of Yellen's nomination. "Yellen’s vast experience and her pioneering history make her particularly well-suited to manage the government response in these historic times."
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) echoed the applause for Yellen's confirmation, calling the move "an important first step on the road to economic recovery."
"With millions out of work, small businesses struggling to stay afloat, and a mortgage market that does not work for Black and Brown Americans, Janet Yellen’s experience and expertise should help the Biden Administration move quickly to put the country on track towards a just recovery," Van Tol said. "The Treasury Department will play a critical role in shaping the economic stimulus so desperately needed to keep people in their homes and connected to their jobs and health insurance. Treasury will also help guide the future of the mortgage market and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s role in ensuring access to credit.”
Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, says she worked closely with Yellen during her service as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Fed and that she can attest first hand to Yellen's dedication, effectiveness, and deep expertise.
"As Fed Chair, she demonstrated admirable leadership through the longest economic expansion in American history, and made our economy better prepared for the pandemic by instituting important financial regulations that created a safer system," Waters said. "Her strong leadership, attentiveness to racial and economic inequalities, keen awareness of the challenges facing working families, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations make her the right person for the job. In this critical moment, Janet Yellen will provide a steady hand during this time of crisis."
Today I swore in @JanetYellen as @USTreasury Secretary. Secretary Yellen is a trailblazer, whose deep commitment to working families will be essential as we confront the urgent economic challenges facing the American people. https://t.co/kZLGyQHILd
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) January 26, 2021
VP Kamala Harris, who swore Yellen in, Tweeted that "Secretary Yellen is a trailblazer whose deep commitment to working families will be essential as we confront the urgent economic challenges facing the American people."