Yellen: Passage of COVID relief bill will get labor market back on track despite inflation fears

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FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington. Yellen, the first woman to head the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department, says women seeking to pursue careers in economics face a number of obstacles from the way beginning economics courses are taught to overly aggressive questioning questions in college seminars. “There is a cultural problem in the profession and we need to change the culture,” Yellen said Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington. Yellen, the first woman to head the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department, says women seeking to pursue careers in economics face a number of obstacles from the way beginning economics courses are taught to overly aggressive questioning questions in college seminars. “There is a cultural problem in the profession and we need to change the culture,” Yellen said Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, Janet Yellen spoke during a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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UPDATED 12:45 PM PT – Monday, March 8, 2021

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is banking on the COVID relief bill to get the country back on track, while downplaying concerns of inflation.

During an interview with the International Monetary Fund on Monday, Yellen claimed the measure would “fuel a very strong economic recovery.”

The $1.9 trillion relief bill is expected to pass the House on Tuesday, likely along party lines. Yellen’s comments came amid renewed fears that the stimulus package will increase inflation and further add to the growing national debt.

“We’re hoping that this week a large pandemic package is going to be passed in Congress,” Yellen stated. “I think there’s a prospect that with an all-out effort on vaccination and reopening schools, that we can really get the labor market back on track later this year or next year.”

Republicans have criticized the bill for measures that would bail out blue states floundering amid lockdown orders and allocate money to schools without guarantees of them reopening for in-person learning.

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