Yellen Defends Stimulus Payments: “It’s the Right Thing to Do”

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by The New York Times, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a proposal to send $1,400 direct payments to Americans will help those who are struggling, particularly those who are not receiving other targeted forms of assistance.

That really helps to make sure that pockets of misery that we know exist out there that aren’t touched by more targeted things, that help is provided there as well,” Yellen said. “I believe we’re going to be better off for it, and that it’s the right thing to do.”

The House Budget Committee is set to approve a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that will include $1,400 stimulus payments. The bill will also boost unemployment benefits to $400 a week through August and send aid to local and state governments to contend with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. It will also provide funding for Covid-19 testing and includes a measure that will gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The full text of the bill is included HERE.

Yellen’s nomination as Treasury Secretary was cleared by the Senate Finance Committee and was later approved by the Senate, making her the first woman in American history to hold the position. Yellen was previously the first woman to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.

Last week, Yellen said it would be unwise to scale back the coronavirus relief.

“We are digging out of a deep hole,” Yellen said. “Last year was the worst year for economic growth since World War II.”

“The costs of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big,” she added. “I really think the benefits will far outweigh the costs in the long run.”

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