Durakoglu becomes the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at State Department

The Biden Administration appointed Naz Durakoglu as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.This is the highest ranking position that was given to a Turkish American woman in recent State Department History.

Naz Durakoglu is the third Turkish-American woman who received a senior position in the Biden Administration.

Three Successful Turkish-American Women under Biden Administration:

-Didem Nisanci,Chief of Staff, Department of Treasury

-Ozge Guzelsu,Deputy General Counsel (Legislation) of the U.S. Secretary of Defense

Who is Naz Durakoglu?

Prior to returning to the Department of State, she was Senior National Security Advisor to Senator Jeanne Shaheen from 2017 to 2021. In that capacity, she managed Democratic issues and activities on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and reestablished the bipartisan Senate NATO Observer Group.

Previously, Ms. Durakoğlu was a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab where she testified before Congress and researched foreign election interference trends. Ms. Durakoğlu also served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, from 2015 to 2017. She began her career in the U.S. House of Representatives where she held various positions, including as Legislative Director to Congressman Bill Keating and Subcommittee Staff Director on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Ms. Durakoğlu is a first-generation American who speaks fluent Turkish and holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and a M.A. from the Naval War College.

President- Elect Joe Biden introduces " American Rescue" Package

President Elect Joe Biden announced the economic stimulus package that tackled the $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19. The American Rescue Plan includes measures that the vaccines will be widely distributed, and incentives aimed at keeping families and businesses afloat.
 
What is in the Rescue Plan?
 
  • -Direct payments of $1,400 to Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including recent $600 payments
  • -Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extension till  end of September 2021
  • -Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • -Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September 2021
  • -$350 billion in state and local government aid
  • -$170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
  • -$50 billion toward Covid-19 testing
  • -$20 billion for national vaccine program
  • -Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child 
President Elect Joe Biden said “We have to act, and we have to act now. I know what I just described does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly,” 
 
Is Congress Ready to Approve the Biden's New Package?
 
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer  said that Congress would get right to work on President-elect Biden’s stimulus package."The emergency relief framework announced by the incoming Biden-Harris administration tonight is the right approach,”said by Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Republican Senator Josh Hawley indicated to support the Biden's package however Democrat Joe Manchin has expressed his skepticism on the package after Biden's press conference.

Biden: "The Incidents are a Result of Trump's Attack on Democracy"

Joe Biden, the US President-Elect, has said that President Trump has provoked the Capitol Building incidents. He described the incident, during which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building, as an "attack on the supremacy of law."
Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, Joe Biden described the incidents of yesterday as "One of the darkest days in U.S. history."

Appearing before the media to announce his Attorney General nomination, the President Elect Biden indicated that the people who stormed the Capitol Building could not be described as protestors. He used the term "domestic terrorist" to describe them.

"If they were black protestors, they would have been treated differently."

After the events that took place yesterday in the congress building, the criticism that the security forces were inadequate during the incident was brought up.
Joe Biden compared the intervention of security forces during George Floyd's protests with the intervention during the events yesterday and said it is clear that there was no equal practice of justice, "If they were black protestors, they would have been treated differently," he added.

Joe Biden said: "For the last four years, we have had a president who demonstrates that he disregards the rule of law, our democracy, the Constitution in everything he does.

President Elect Biden nominates Garland as the Attorney General.

Joe Biden declared that he nominated Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, as the Attorney General. Garland was former Democratic President Barack Obama's Supreme Court candidate, but his nomination was blocked by Republicans.

Following the election results from Georgia, Democrats, who now have the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, have also taken control of the Senate.

Joe Biden said he thinks Garland, whom he nominated as the Attorney General, could rapidly get Senate approval.In the case Garland gets Senate approval, it is said that he will assign a black Judge from Washington District, Ketanji Brown Jackson, as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in Garland's place.
 
However, an official statement has not yet been made yet from Biden's transition team regarding this.

President-Elect Biden: A First-Class Economic Team

At Biden-Harris  transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, President-Elect Joe Biden  introduced his new economic team as he called  "a 'First-Class' team who will bring America out of the financial crisis.

In his speech, Biden renewed his call to Congress to immediately pass the coronavirus economic aid package and stated that any potential aid package to be passed before January, when he takes over the Presidency, would only be the beginning. Biden added that his team had started working on the Coronavirus aid package and that the package would be announced immediately after he takes office.

"No one is more qualified than Yellen."

Biden officially announced Janet Yellen, the former President of the Federal Reserve (FED), as his nominee as the Secretary of Treasury. Yellen will be the first woman to take this role if she is approved by the Senate. Biden said, "No one is more qualified to deal with this crisis than Yellen."

Biden announced that he would be appointing Neera Tanden, the President of the Center for American Progress, a center for political and public research, as the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Tanden will be the first American woman of South Asian descent to take this role. 

When talking about Tanden, Biden said, "She understands the struggles that Americans are facing."

Biden picks Wally Adeyemo as Deputy Secretary of Treasury. Adeyemo will be the African American who has been given the highest role at the Treasury to date.

Biden has announced Cecilia Rouse, the Dean of the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs, as the Economic Advisor to the White House. Rouse will be the fourth woman, but the first black American, to take this role.

Biden also officially announced that Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey would be among the names on the economic council.

Biden said that he hoped his candidates would be approved swiftly by the Senate.

Yellen calls for swift action.

On the other hand, Yellen, who has been announced as the Secretary of Treasury by Biden, said, "We are experiencing a historic crisis due to the pandemic and the economic consequences it has brought with it." She underlined that the pandemic had affected the poorest in a disproportional manner and essential to take urgent action. She stated that it was of critical importance that economic recovery includes everyone.

Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, has proposed that the new economic aid package be merged with the budget proposal.

McConnell, who announced to the press after having discussions with Republican senators, stated that he had held talks with the White House and shared the summary of a proposal, which would be acceptable to President Donald Trump, with Republican senators.

However, according to a Republican source from the Senate, the said proposal is very close to one that McConnell has been talking about for months and rejected by the Democrats. According to a document obtained by Reuters, the said plan foresees the setting aside of 332.7 billion dollars for small businesses, in the form of loans or grants.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, had met on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

 

  • Published in Economy
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