Yellen Goes to Bat for Biden’s Spending Plans Amid Republican Opposition: U.S. Will See “Big Returns”

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Treasury Secretary defended President Joe Biden‘s spending plans on infrastructure, education, and jobs, saying that the plans are necessary in order to keep the United States competitive and will yield “big returns.”

“The plans are extremely important and necessary to invest in our economy so that we can be competitive and have families and children succeed, invest in infrastructure, in R&D, and things that shore up middle-class prosperity — education, childcare, and health care,” Yellen said in an interview on “Meet the Press.”

“There will be a big return. I expect productivity to rise. There will be great returns from investing in research and development and enabling families to participate with paid leave and childcare support in the workforce,” she added.

Yellen has in recent weeks defended the Biden administration’s support for a global minimum tax rate to raise revenue in the United States as well as stop companies from shifting their profits overseas, a move that enables them to evade paying taxes. She also defended stimulus payments to help those in dire financial straits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Competitiveness is about more than how U.S.-headquartered companies fare against other companies in global merger and acquisition bids,” Yellen said in a recent speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “It is about making sure that governments have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods and respond to crises, and that all citizens fairly share the burden of financing government.”

On stimulus payments, Yellen called them “the right thing to do” to help those who are struggling, particularly those who are not receiving other targeted forms of assistance.

Yellen’s remarks came as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he expected no Republicans would support Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure package, signaling that Republicans want to shrink it down to $600 billion.

“I think it’s worth talking about but I don’t think there will be any Republican support — none, zero — for the $4.1 trillion grab bag which has infrastructure in it but a whole lot of other stuff,” McConnell said in a press conference in Kentucky.

“We’re open to doing a roughly $600 billion package which deals with what all of us agree is infrastructure,” McConnell continued. “If it’s going to be about infrastructure, let’s make it about infrastructure.”