Grassley at Hearing to Consider the Anticipated Nomination of the Honorable Janet L. Yellen to be Secretary of the Treasury
Prepared Opening Remarks by U.S. Senator
Chuck Grassley of IowaChairman, Senate Finance CommitteeTuesday, January 19, 2021
we welcome the Honorable Janet Yellen to consider an anticipated nomination for
her to become Secretary of the Treasury.
role of Treasury Secretary covers responsibilities over a large number of
issues, including: taxes; fiscal management including the debt; financial
sanctions; and economic policies.
Treasury Secretary also serves as Chair of the Financial Stability Oversight
Council, which has wide-ranging financial oversight and regulatory authorities.
Yellen has a history in academics, think tanks, the federal government and at
the Federal Reserve.
hearing takes place in the midst of an ongoing pandemic along with significant
divisions in Congress and in the nation.
hope we can move away from partisan divisiveness and personalized attacks
against each other.
Yellen, if confirmed, you can be instrumental in helping generate an
environment for bipartisan efforts and reasoned debate.
expressed that you have interest in aggressively pursuing mitigation efforts
toward climate change, which you see as a global existential threat.
incoming administration has also identified interest in raising taxes, coupled
with massive spending programs, and working to reduce income inequality. And
Senator Schumer has said that he’d like to change America.
be interested in hearing more about those and other things as we continue to
consider your nomination.
I’ve already indicated to you, I think it would be a big mistake to raise taxes
on individuals and businesses as they struggle through an economic recovery and
know that the incoming administration has said they’d like to pursue a
two-pronged strategy, with a massive stimulus followed by tax hikes coupled
with even more spending, maybe on infrastructure.
are already closely examining President-elect Biden’s proposal for around $1.9 trillion
of stimulus, which even some prominent Democrat economists have said does not
seem to be well targeted.
the trillions already in the pipeline, and close to $1 trillion of relief
enacted just a few short weeks ago, it is important to focus efforts on pandemic
relief. Now is not the time to enact a
laundry list of liberal structural economic reforms.
Yellen, if you are confirmed, I hope that you will work with us on the
forward, President-elect Biden has stated numerous times that no one making under
$400,000 would see their taxes raised.
For example, last year on CNBC, Biden stated what we can think of as the
New Biden Rule that: “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes
I don’t think we need to be raising taxes, I will pay close attention to see
that the incoming administration abides by that New Biden Rule and doesn’t go
after taxing small businesses and the middle class.
my part, let me tell you that I believe in free and fair trade both internationally
trade is important for American business, and especially important to the
agricultural sector and farmers across American.
will make sure that the incoming Administration does not overlook the
importance of agriculture, or overlook interests of rural America.
am against foreign countries trying to tap into the U.S. tax base with
unilateral digital services taxes, under their self-proclaimed “rights” to
invade our tax base. They don’t have
don’t support socialism or Marxism or so-called Democratic socialism that would
end with command-and-control policies.
also don’t support any rapid or drastic wiping out of industries and their
workers based mostly on ideology and often on misleading analyses, with some
notion of taking care of the carnage through massive government income and
to the pandemic, although there were economic and structural challenges in the
economy, we saw:
· historic, 50-year lows in
· record lows for gaps
between minority unemployment and the overall unemployment rate;
· inclusive growth, with
real wages growing fastest for low-earners;
· record highs in real
median household income;
· stronger median income
growth for minorities than others;
· reductions in income
inequality and poverty.
those are goals of Democrats, we did not hear much about the accomplishments
accomplishments came about in an environment in which tax burdens were lowered
and made more progressive, and regulation was made more efficient.
of welcoming the accomplishments, we have heard from the other side that we
need to change America.
would like to see us continue with the accomplishments we saw prior to the
let me close with a comment on transparency.
committee has traditionally expressed bipartisan interest in reminding all
nominees that transparency is important to our Members.
means that I expect that you will respond to inquiries from any Senator on this
Committee, no matter which side of the aisle they sit.
and thorough responses to our inquiries and investigations is what we expect.
that, I’ll turn to Senator Wyden.
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