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Senator Hassan Questions Treasury Secretary Yellen About Inflation, Tax Cuts for NH Businesses, and Sanctioning Russian Gold

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan questioned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a Senate Finance Committee hearing about how inflation and backlogs in tax cut payments are negatively impacting Granite Staters and small businesses. In addition, Senator Hassan discussed her bipartisan efforts to combat Putin’s attempts to insulate the Russian economy from sanctions by selling off his gold stockpile. 

To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning, click here.

Inflation

“Inflation is the number one economic issue I hear about from Granite Staters,” said Senator Hassan. “Supply chain challenges and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have driven up costs across the economy, and these higher prices are straining the budgets of families and small businesses.”

Senator Hassan then spoke about her bipartisan legislation to help lower energy costs for families by expanding tax cuts for energy efficient home upgrades.

When asked if she agreed that passing these types of clean energy tax cuts would help lower costs, Yellen responded that “Yes, I do. I think various incentives and tax credits that would support clean energy are critical ways in which we can help lower and middle-income families cut their costs, offset price pressures that they face, and address climate change, and over the medium-term, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and on global oil markets where geopolitical risks are often causing spikes in oil prices.”

Employee Retention Tax Credit

“In 2020, I helped lead a successful bipartisan effort to ensure that all small businesses struggling during the pandemic had access to tax cuts through the Employee Retention Tax Credit,” said Senator Hassan. “However, I’ve heard from small businesses in New Hampshire – such as Smuttynose Brewing in Hampton – who are still waiting on Treasury to send their full Employee Retention Tax Credit payments.”

Senator Hassan then pressed Secretary Yellen on Treasury Department efforts to clear the backlog of Employee Retention Tax Credit claims.

Russian Gold Sanctions

“Vladimir Putin has stockpiled billions of dollars in gold in an attempt to insulate the Russian economy from international sanctions,” said Senator Hassan. “I’d like to thank Treasury for heeding calls earlier this year from a bipartisan group of Senators – including myself and Senator Cornyn – to ensure that U.S. sanctions freeze Russian gold assets.”

Senator Hassan then asked Secretary Yellen for an update on the Treasury Department’s efforts to combat Putin’s attempts to sell off his gold stockpile.

“This is an important matter, and we've issued guidance that gold-related transactions involving Russia may be sanctionable under the President’s executive order, and we’re closely monitoring any efforts that we can see to circumvent our Russia related sanctions through the use of gold,” Secretary Yellen said.

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