Top House Democrat blasts Yellen for refusing to testify on PPP

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source: https://www.politico.com

House Small commercial enterprise Chair Nydia Velázquez on Wednesday slammed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for declining to appear at a committee hearing, announcing the Biden management's top economic reliable was showing "whole brush aside" for the regulation.

Velázquez, a senior the big apple lawmaker, referred to as out Yellen at the beginning of listening to centered on Covid-19 remedy packages for small groups. Velázquez's panel wanted Yellen to seem because Treasury performed a primary function imposing the almost $1 trillion Paycheck safety software in partnership with the Small enterprise management, whose chief, Isabel Guzman, become the only authentic to testify Wednesday.

The clash marked a unprecedented public dispute among congressional Democrats and the Biden management over transparency in the govt department's operations. Yellen's absence become splendid since former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a chain of appearances earlier than Congress remaining yr to talk about small commercial enterprise aid.

"without her on the table, this committee cannot nicely satisfy our oversight obligations to American taxpayers, nor the state's entrepreneurial community," Velázquez said. "whilst she and her team can also believe their role in PPP and different small commercial enterprise Covid relief packages is dwindling as we move in the direction of financial boom and financial rebirth, they're sorely mistaken."

The struggle emerged because the Biden administration has confronted mounting court cases from Congress approximately how it has dealt with the shipping of pandemic-associated small commercial enterprise useful resource, consisting of grants for restaurants and live performance venues, and about the way it has replied to lawmakers' worries.

SBA Administrator Guzman felt the brunt of lawmakers' grievances on the hearing, consisting of GOP proceedings approximately proposed tax hikes that could otherwise be in Yellen's portfolio.

Treasury spokesperson Lily Adams stated Yellen “appears forward to persevering with strong congressional engagement and could testify before Congress numerous instances inside the next month, which includes day after today.” Treasury stated it “will retain to work with Congress to coordinate the scheduling of as many hearings as possible.”

Velázquez said Yellen had a legal requirement to seem and that she turned into brushing off the law. Congress established the requirement in December as part of Covid remedy legislation, ordering the Treasury secretary and the SBA administrator to testify inside 120 days of the enactment of the regulation.

A Treasury official said the department consulted with criminal recommend and presented to have Treasury Deputy Secretary Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo appear on the hearing. The reliable said the committee to begin with generic the offer and then declined. The house Small commercial enterprise Committee disputed that it typical the alternative. Committee spokesperson Evelyn Quartz stated the panel didn't be given the provide as it changed into now not what the law required.

Velázquez said she could work with the committee's top Republican, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), as well as the leaders of the Senate Small commercial enterprise Committee to discover a date for Yellen to seem. Guzman changed into also scheduled to testify solo at a Senate Small enterprise hearing Wednesday afternoon.

"this is very troubling," Luetkemeyer said. "it is a entire violation of the regulation."