WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will paint an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, telling U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that she sees both growth and possibly full employment next year – due to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus stimulus package.
Yellen, in written testimony prepared for delivery to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that with passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, “I am confident that people will reach the other side of this pandemic with the foundations of their lives intact. And I believe they will be met there by a growing economy. In fact, I think we may see a return to full employment next year.”
Yellen said the Treasury, tasked with implementing much of the Biden stimulus plan and distributing the funds, was working to expedite relief to the areas of greatest need, including the smallest of small businesses, which are disproportionately owned by women and people of color.
The Treasury also is reducing some documentation requirements for struggling Americans to receive funds to help them make housing rental and mortgage payments in an effort to speed the implementation of a $30 billion housing aid plan.
“We’re cutting through the red tape for them, while still taking reasonable steps to prevent fraud and abuse,” Yellen said.
Treasury is also working closely with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to implement $350 billion in aid to them, she said.
Treasury officials said last week that the state and local government aid program, which is still setting rules on the use of funds, would start distributing money within about 60 days.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler)