HERNDON, Va. (AP) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is promoting the Biden administration’s policies as key to promoting the nation’s “long-term economic well-being” ahead of the midterm elections.
The former Federal Reserve Chairman, along with Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, visited a research and development industrial park in Virginia on Friday and spoke about the government’s efforts to revive America’s manufacturing capacity, boost computer chip production and improve the country’s infrastructure. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., was also present.
Yellen’s visit is part of the Treasury Secretary’s ongoing US tour as she and other government officials seek to quell the effects of persistently high inflation on Americans. Republicans say government pandemic spending overspending and other domestic policies have contributed to high inflation.
Voters have made it clear that price increases are a key concern. A survey conducted by the Associate Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in June found that 40% of US adults in an open-ended question specifically named inflation as one of up to five priorities for the government to work on over the next year .
Democrats want to retain control of Congress and need to convince voters they can fight inflation, which accelerated in September. In Virginia, Yellen spoke about increasing domestic industrial production as one of the solutions.
“Our government’s failure to invest in innovation has had far-reaching implications for our long-term economic well-being,” Yellen said during her speech. “At the most basic level, it has affected our production capacity.”
She said that President Joe Biden’s administration “began to reverse that trend” over the past year.
“We have advanced an economic plan that finally puts innovation and technology at the top of our national agenda,” she said.
Kaine said Virginia “was a clean energy laggard even five or ten years ago.” But with investments from the new federal Climate and Health Act and other programs, “we are now positioned to lead the United States in offshore wind,” he said.
Yellen also participated in a roundtable with local entrepreneurs and representatives from Virginia colleges focused on semiconductors, advanced manufacturing and other emerging technologies.
“Together, our efforts increase the overall productive capacity of our economy,” Yellen said. “And in return, we improve America’s long-term economic prospects.”
Early voting is underway in many states, including Virginia.
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