The choice of Biden to lead the Treasury Department generated more than $ 7 million in speaking fees

The choice of Biden to lead the Treasury Department generated more than $ 7 million in speaking fees

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) – President-elect Joe Biden’s selection as Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has raised more than $ 7 million in speaking fees over the past two years from major financial firms and tech giants including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Google, according to the disclosure forms provided as part From being nominated.

Yellen’s data was among three financial disclosures delivered by Biden transition officials that were announced Thursday by the Office of Government Ethics. In a separate file, the listed companies and banks listed in Yellen received a speaking fee and said they intended to “obtain written permission” from ethics officials “to participate personally and substantially” in matters relating to them.

Yellen was chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. President Donald Trump has not renewed her term. She received a speaking fee in 2019 and 2020.

Biden’s selection to lead the Treasury has been applauded by progressive Democrats, who support Yellen’s work as a labor economist who has long prioritized combating economic inequality. Since announcing her candidacy, Yellen has pledged to work against systemic racism and climate change.

But receiving large payouts from Wall Street bankers and other powerful corporations could become a problem as their candidacy works its way through the so closely divided Senate. Hillary Clinton faced criticism from the left wing of the Democratic Party as she ran for president in 2016 for receiving lucrative speaking fees at Wall Street corporations.

A Biden transition spokesperson said Friday that since leaving the Fed, Yellen has spoken at economic conferences, universities, business groups, and financial institutions about her experiences and opinions about what we can do as a country to build a stronger economy and increase our competitiveness. Punches when it comes to bad actions or bad behavior. “

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Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, a senior member of the Chamber’s finance committee, said he expects Yellen’s candidacy “to move forward quickly, with the hearing taking place before Inauguration Day” on January 20.

“In the past few years, she has shared her views in a range of forums – congressional testimonials, media interviews, talks, and opinion pieces,” Wyden said in a statement. “It was completely transparent.”

Disclosure forms were also released Thursday from Biden’s selection of Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, who provided details of his work at the consulting firm he co-founded, WestExec Advisors, LLC. They showed Blinken earned more than $ 1.1 million and entered into an agreement, negotiated in October, to sell his stake in the company, advising clients including Bank of America and Facebook.

Avril Haines, Biden’s selection for the Director of National Intelligence, revealed he was a consultant at WestExec Advisors and raised about $ 55,000 in fees between October 2017 and last summer. In a separate letter to ethics officials, Haines promised to stand down for one year on cases involving WestExec as well as other former employers, including Columbia University, Syracuse University, and the Brookings Institution think tank.

Some advocacy groups began warning just after Election Day that Biden, who was a Senator from Delaware for 36 years and served as vice president for two terms, could rely heavily on officials with strong ties to previous Democratic administrations. Many of these have left public sector positions to take up jobs in the private sector and are now seeking to return to government, raising concerns about a “revolving door” Between politics and institutional and financial influence.

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However, Biden largely ignored such concerns, saying he was not afraid to rely on advisers with deep government experience. He has pledged to form a cabinet well-versed in the workings of government and filled with members from across the ethnic and ideological spectrum who are like diversity. The country they will represent.

The transition spokesperson said that the incoming Biden administration is committed to “restoring confidence in the government by establishing an administration of the highest ethical standards,” while calling for the release of financial disclosures “just one step in the process of ensuring the highest levels of transparency and ethics.”

Biden’s transition team says it expects to announce more cabinet selections next week. Among those positions not yet filled is the choice of the president-elect for the Minister of Labor and the Attorney General – a choice that could be complicated. By federal prosecutors investigating Biden Hunter’s son’s finances.

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