Yellen Backs Big Stimulus Package, Checks for Americans Making Around $60,000

New Treasury Secretary plays down inflation risk, sees full employment returning next year if $1.9 trillion plan approved.
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Dismissing inflation worries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday endorsed a massive stimulus package that she said should include checks to Americans making up to around $60,000.

"If you think about an elementary school teacher, a police officer, making $60,000 a year, faced with children who are out of school ... and many extra burdens," Yellen told CNN's “State of the Union” on Sunday, "I would agree that it's appropriate for people there to get support."

Yellen, when asked if that amount should go as high as $75,000 per year, dogged giving a direct amount, but said the numbers would soon get sorted out.

But she said earlier in the interview that President Joe Biden "wouldn't want to see a household making over $300,000 receive these payments" as part of the White House's proposed $1.9 trillion package to support Americans during the pandemic.

The stimulus plan has been criticised by Republican lawmakers and questioned by previous Democratic Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

"As Treasury Secretary, I have to worry about all the risks to the economy. The most important risk is that we leave workers and communities scarred by the pandemic -- and the economic toll that it's taken," Yellen countered on CNN.

She said getting kids back to school, helping the unemployed and hungry, and supporting small businesses should take policy priority.

"We already have way too many small businesses that are closing," she said. "We need provide help to get them to the other side."

She said if the plan were to get passed, full employment could return by next year, and when asked about fears of inflation risking, said "we have the tools to deal with" such a threat.

This story has been updated; the original headline has be rewritten to more accurately reflect the story.