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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
'That's a Lie': Janet Yellen Faces Grilling Before Senate Finance Committee
Biden Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday morning and things did not go well as she tried to explain the Biden administration's "not a bailout" bailout of two failed banks in the last week, why she claimed inflation was "transitory" earlier in the cost crisis, and why the Biden administration is refusing to negotiate with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling.
Reiterating claims that Biden's bailout of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank constituted "decisive action," seemingly fishing for applause, Yellen said America's "banking system is sound and Americans can feel confident that their deposits will be there when they need them." Echoing Biden's Monday morning speech that failed to quell anxiety about America's banks, Yellen insisted the banking system remains "strong" and stated "no taxpayer money is being used" in the bailout. Still, the Biden administration has not explained where this apparently magic non-taxpayer money that banks paid into the Deposit Insurance Fund came from.
Yellen also claimed that Biden has led the United States into a "historic economic recovery" but acknowledged inflation remains an issue on which more "work needs to be done." Ironically, Yellen heralded "three transformational laws" passed by Congress and signed by Biden — the infrastructure package, CHIPS and Science Act, and falsely named Inflation Reduction Act — without noting those tax-and-spending sprees caused some of inflation's surge to 40-year highs.
Confusingly, Yellen also said she did not believe that "deficit spending" was a "main cause" of the inflation in a line of questions from Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), partially explaining why she thought massive Biden administration spending policies were a good thing and not to blame for price increases not seen in four decades.
When asked about raising the debt ceiling by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Yellen refused to say that President Biden or his administration would work with Republicans in Congress — especially those now controlling the House of Representatives — to negotiate a bill to lift the debt limit while cutting spending.
Biden's refusal to work with lawmakers was brought up again by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on the issue of protecting the solvency of Social Security. Yellen tried to insist that Biden "cares very deeply" about the program, but couldn't explain any of his actions to back up that claim. Instead, Yellen insisted Biden "stands ready to work with Congress."
"That's a lie," Cassidy pointed out, as lawmakers have tried to meet with Biden on the subject to no avail.
It's unsurprising that Biden doesn't have a plan to address Social Security or negotiate a debt ceiling increase, considering his previous failures. From the Afghanistan withdrawal to declaring "independence" from COVID in 2021, Biden's plans, when he does have them, don't end any better.