U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen in Dearborn: ‘We cannot just return to the old normal’

By: - September 9, 2022 3:44 am

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gives a speech on the economy at Fords Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on September 8, 2022 in Dearborn, Michigan. Yellen toured the factory, which produces the Ford F-150 Lightning, before her remarks. | Sarah Rice/Getty Images

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during an address in Dearborn on Thursday touted President Joe Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act during a 25-minute address, which she called “historic” legislation. 

“We cannot just return to the old normal,” she said, referring to Biden’s predecessor GOP former President Donald Trump. She used terms and phrases like “shock and disruptions,” “soaring inequity” and “weak growth” to describe the previous presidency.  

Yellen made the address during a tour of Ford Motor Co.’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. 

Biden, a Democrat, recently signed an effort that poured $750 billion into priorities like climate change and health care. Yellen, whom he appointed to the post, described the economic agenda as one of “pro-growth.” 

She also said Biden’s effort will expand programs such as free community college; workforce training; “high-quality, affordable childcare and free preschool;” and increase the “affordability of housing.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist speaks at the Michigan Democratic Party’s nominating convention in Lansing on Aug. 21, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor), U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Livonia) and U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp. attended the event. The U.S. Senate was in session, so Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) did not attend. 

“We can not wait to build on this foundation because it will make a real difference,” said Gilchrist about Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration’s support of the Biden effort. He called it “transformation for the Michigan economy.” 

Dingell also welcomed the visit. 

“Like Secretary Yellen, I am optimistic about the course of our economy, and am thankful to the administration for continuing to invest in American jobs and working families. I look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration on these efforts,” said Dingell. 

State Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), who is running against U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) in the new 7th Congressional District, did not attend the event. But he blasted Yellen’s visit and the Inflation Reduction Act, while questioning the push to purchase electric vehicles.

“We need to have a course correction. The country is on the wrong track. … We need to right the ship,” said Barrett.

Biden is scheduled to visit Michigan Wednesday and attend the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

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