Janet Yellen, candidate for US President-elect Joe Biden as Treasury Secretary, speaks as Biden announces nominees and candidates for his policy team on December 1, 2020 at his interim headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, United States.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Janet Yellen’s historic move to lead finance took an important step forward Friday morning after smoothly completing an important Senate vote.

Together with the wealth of experience she brings, the appointment would make Yellen the first woman to ever hold the position. She was previously the first woman to head the Federal Reserve.

The Senate Finance Committee on Friday approved President Joe Biden’s move to appoint Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury and sent the nomination through with a 26-0 vote.

“We are proud to be the first woman to be the United States Treasury Secretary,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. “I really hope she can usher in a new day at the Treasury Department to focus on Main Street workforce issues, workforce training, and the important things to keep the American economy going and get people back to work bring. “

Yellen has yet to be confirmed by the entire Senate. Signs are that Yellen’s name will be moved to the Senate before close of business on Friday.

The committee vote had little debate or disagreement, much like their confirmation hearing earlier in the week. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Said Yellen was “actually an NBA All-Star when it comes to clearing the Senate nomination process”.

In fact, Yellen steered the process when she was twice appointed to the Fed’s Board of Governors. Yellen was also the first woman to head the Economic Advisory Council under former President Bill Clinton.

Emphasis on bipartisanism

Committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the swift pursuit of Yellen’s appointment was part of an effort by Republicans to tame some of the partisan rancor that had permeated Washington during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.

“Unfortunately, I cannot say that all candidates in the previous administration received similar treatment,” said Grassley. He added that treating Yellen’s nomination “signals an interest on my part, and I know all of my Republican colleagues, to work cooperatively and non-partisan. … We are not interested in cancerous culture wars that are only intended to divide the nation . “

Should they get confirmation, it would place them in a critical position to carry out the democratic government’s economic agenda.

The new president is already in a dispute in Congress over his proposed spending plan of $ 1.9 trillion. Approval could be several weeks away and Biden is unlikely to receive full price.

Part of Yellen’s job will be to take the proposal through Congress, where it is likely to encounter significant opposition.

“I have very strong disagreements with Dr. Yellen over a number of her positions, particularly in tax matters,” said Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. “But she’s committed to working with us on these issues and the concerns we have and I think the strong vote on our side to support her today is an indication that we want to get involved . “