Mnuchin plans to place the money into the agency’s General Fund, a Treasury Department spokesperson said Tuesday. That fund can only be tapped with “authority based on congressionally issued legislation,” according to the Treasury’s website.
The money includes $429 billion that Mnuchin is clawing back from the Federal Reserve — which backed some of the central bank’s emergency lending facilities — and $26 billion that Treasury received for direct loans to companies. Both initiatives were created under the sweeping Cares Act that was passed earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic inflicted economic pain on the U.S.
The move will leave Yellen — selected by president-elect Joe Biden as his nominee for Treasury secretary — with just under $80 billion available in the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, a pot of money that can be used with some discretion by the Treasury chief.