US Treasury Chief: Would Take Years for US Economy to Recover Without Aid Deal 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday it “will take years” to get the country’s coronavirus-ravaged economy back on track if Congress fails to enact President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package, rejecting Republican claims that it is too big. Yellen told CNN that with passage of the relief deal, the economy could return to what is considered full employment in the world’s biggest economy by 2022, with a 4% jobless rate compared to the 6.3% rate in January. “There’s tremendous suffering in the country,” she said, with nearly 10 million jobs lost in the coronavirus pandemic and a reported 4 million workers who have given up looking for new work. The government reported Friday that the United States added only 49,000 jobs in January. FILE – U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with a group of Republican Senators to discuss coronavirus federal aid legislation inside the Oval Office at the White House, Feb. 1, 2021.Biden also plans to send $1,400 checks to millions of adult Americans, but Yellen said precise details of what income level the payments would be cut off have yet to be worked out. Republicans opposed to Biden’s relief package are pointing to an opinion article published in The Washington Post last week by former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, a Democrat, suggesting that the size of Biden’s relief deal could “set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation.” Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, in a CNN interview, said the U.S. is not facing “an economy in collapse.” He said it is too soon to enact another big coronavirus relief measure. “The ink is hardly dry on the last bill,” Toomey said, referring to a $900 billion package that then-President Donald Trump approved in late December. Toomey said that while Biden has “made great speeches on (political) unity, he’s governing from the hard left.”  

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