Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Federal Reserve exposed a rare public rift last month when Mr. Mnuchin declined to extend several emergency lending programs put in place to repair credit markets convulsed by the coronavirus pandemic in March.
His decision to allow the programs to expire on Dec. 31 also intensified a partisan divide over the lending programs, which both parties supported as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package known as the Cares Act approved in March.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said he was concerned about how a Democratic administration might change the programs while Democrats accused Mr. Mnuchin of sabotaging efforts to rehabilitate the economy and denying the Biden administration a useful economic-recovery tool.
Mr. Mnuchin may not get the last word on the matter. The Biden administration could have enough legal flexibility to restart the programs next year, according to legal analysts. These issues could receive a public airing when Mr. Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testify over two days of congressional hearings beginning Tuesday.
Here’s a look at the issues: