President Joe Biden asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to stay in her post, and she agreed, a White House official familiar with the matter said.
Biden made the request in mid-December, the official said. Biden is preparing for turnover in his Cabinet and questions have swirled over how long Yellen would remain in his administration.
Bloomberg has previously reported that Yellen, 76, was prepared to remain Treasury secretary well after the midterms. Yellen told NBC in November that she intended to stay for “the duration” of Biden’s current term.
Treasury officials declined to comment.
The development ensures stability at the Treasury ahead of a fight in Congress over raising the debt ceiling and a looming threat of a recession as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool inflation.
The move also gives Yellen more time to see through some of her key priorities, including a revamp of the Internal Revenue Service, reforms at the World Bank and adding pressure on Russia over its Ukraine war via sanctions and the oil price cap.
While Yellen already enjoys strong standing with many of her international counterparts, the public confirmation bolsters her position abroad by removing any concerns among foreign finance ministers, central bank governors and other officials that Treasury policy was subject to a significant change.
She’s scheduled to attend this year’s first Group of 20 finance ministers meeting next month in India, after a visit to Africa later this month.
Biden’s request that she stay also puts to rest chatter that the White House had been seeking to appoint Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to lead the Treasury Department, which was seen as a move to elevate a Democratic rising star to a top-tier cabinet post.
Yellen, a former chair of the Federal Reserve, had faced criticism for downplaying the severity of the inflation challenge, which eroded public support for the administration’s handling of the economy. — Bloomberg