On Thursday, the United States Senate confirmed Jerome Powell to a second term as a Federal Reserve (Fed) for four years. It paved the way for the ex-investment banker to continue leading the central bank as it opposes the highest inflation in forty years. The United States President Joe Biden renominated Powell. However, it drew bipartisan backing in the divided Senate, with a final count of eighty senators in favor of his confirmation and only nineteen opposed.
On Thursday, the United States Senate voted 80/19 to give Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve of the U.S., a second four-year term as the central banking system battles to crush the rising inflation. pic.twitter.com/s84Ia16GWo
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) May 13, 2022
Powell’s first four-year term officially ended on 4th February. The conflict in approving Lisa Cook to join the Fed board delayed Powell’s confirmation. Furthermore, his vote came one day after the upper house of Congress approved the nomination of Philip Jefferson of Davidson College. It marked the first time the Fed board had over one Black governor.
United States President Pleased
Joe Biden repeatedly said that confronting the issue is mainly one job for the Fed. The president stated after the vote that he is pleased to see the U.S. Senate take one step ahead on his plan to get inflation under control by confirming his nominees to the Fed. Powell enjoyed broad bipartisan support and also bipartisan opposition.
Six Democratic leaders voted against Powell, including progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He first joined the Fed board in 2012. In addition, he led the central bank as it cut the benchmark interest rate to zero at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and drove money into the financial system to avoid a severe slump in the economy’s largest economy.
The Challenge of Fed
The challenge for the Fed and Powell is to reduce the heat on inflation without slanting the U.S. into a rescission. Still, he expressed confidence that the economy was strong enough to resist the tougher monetary policy. Last month, the U.S. Senate confirmed Lael Brainard, the longtime Fed governor, as vice-chair of the board. Biden advised the Senate in his statement to confirm his final nominee (Michael Barr) as vice chair for supervision.