Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen listens to a reporter’s question during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, May 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
UPDATED 3:06 PM PT – Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has ignited anger amongst Republicans and Democrats alike for skipping a hearing on COVID-19 relief.
Yellen and SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman were slated to appear before the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday, but Guzman was the only one who showed. The Democrat and Republican leaders of the committee both slammed Yellen for refusing to testify, especially considering she played a major role in implementing the program itself.
Additionally, Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) said that Yellen’s refusal was in violation of the law. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in March requires the Treasury Secretary and SBA Administrator to testify on distribution of funds under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hybrid hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
“Without her at the table, this committee cannot properly fulfill our oversight responsibilities to American taxpayers, nor the nation’s entrepreneurial community,” said Velazquez.
This comes as criticism continues to pile up against the Biden administration’s handling of pandemic-related small business aid.