Yellen nears history again after Senate panel vote

The Biden administration on Friday is on its way to notching another first for the country...

As Janet Yellen - President Joe Biden's pick to become the next Treasury secretary of the United States - is on her way to becoming the first woman to hold that position.

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved her nomination, a clear indication that she will easily win full Senate approval.

Republicans on the committee voted for her despite their concerns about her support of the president's ambitious $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan.

At her confirmation hearing earlier this week, Yellen told lawmakers they needed to "act big" or risk a longer recession and severe scarring of the labor market.

"Neither the president-elect nor I proposed this release relief package without an appreciation for the country's debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big. In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who've been struggling for a very long time."

She will also be responsible for pushing through Biden's aggressive plans for infrastructure spending and tax hikes, but Republicans who voted for her said they were encouraged by Yellen's commitment to "work with us."

Yellen previously served as chairman of the Federal Reserve and the head of the White House council of economic advisors under President Bill Clinton.

Her expected confirmation follows the history-making swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris, as the first woman, first Black and first Asian American to the second highest office in the country, as part of the most diverse administration in history.

A full confirmation vote for Yellen is expected to happen swiftly.