Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visit Denver for US bailout anniversary – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – Friday marks the first anniversary of the US bailout. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package was signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 to accelerate economic recovery as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Denver with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff to see the ARP at work.
“It’s great to be back in Colorado,” Emhoff said. “The number of unemployed is down and people are back to work. There are a lot of jobs there and it’s great. You see the economy cooking. Emhoff’s wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, was returning from Poland to the United States during her visit to Denver.
The city of Denver has received more than $300 million from the US bailout. The US Treasury disbursed the funds in two installments of $154 million in 2021 and 2022.
Some of this funding has been allocated to companies like the Mi Casa resource center for workforce development training. Funds are used to support recruitment, career coaching, adult education and ESL programs. On Friday afternoon, Emhoff and Yellen toured Mi Casa with state and city leaders.
Mi Casa was awarded $325,000 for a Workforce Innovation Grant focused on retraining and upskilling job seekers. CEO Angeles Ortega thanked leaders for investing in one of Denver’s underserved communities.
“Thanks to this support, we have been able to grow and expand our services and serve even more participants in person and virtually. Although our community is strong and resilient, these funds have made a difference in the lives of our neighbours,” Ortega said.
At Mi Casa, 81% of beneficiaries are BIPOC. 82% are low income and 43% are considered very low income.
Yellen told reporters on Friday that the recovery plan was designed so that different communities, with different needs, can address the different challenges they face.
“City department heads have been asked to find 7.5% cuts in their budgets. Public employees, including the mayor, were fired to save money,” Yellen said. “Denver was able to rehire 265 city employee positions left vacant due to pandemic-related budget cuts. The city is returning to 2020 spending levels this year.”
The city says the economic recovery is due in part to federal financial support.
Yellen says she has seen the impact of ARP statewide.
“Think of Pueblo, which used $280,000 to increase housing stability for homeless and low-income people,” Yellen said. “Fort Collins has allocated $400,000 to multicultural businesses to address gaps in the current business support system that affect small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color, women, and low-income people.”
Gov. Jared Polis, who also attended on Friday, said the state is currently working to put bailout bonds in favor of housing across the state.
“We are now working with Republican and Democratic leaders in the Legislature to not only allocate $500 million of US bailout bonds directly to housing, but also to leverage those funds with local government and private developers to unlocking billions of dollars of housing in Colorado to reduce costs. for active families. »
However, rent isn’t the only thing that breaks many budgets. Gasoline and food prices continue to rise. Yellen says the Fed is working to fix it.
“Inflation is a problem and we have to deal with it. I think it reflects supply chain issues. As spending normalizes and our economy opens up, I think some of that will subside and we are doing what we can to alleviate supply chain issues where we can” , Yellen said. “Even with inflation and the problems caused by the situation in Russia and Ukraine, I think the economy will do well this year.”
As prices continue to rise, Yellen says communities in Denver and Colorado are better off today than they would be without the US bailout.