Biden re-nominates Powell as Fed chair, with Brainard as vice chair

Biden re-nominates Powell as Fed chair, with Brainard as vice chair

On November 22, the White House announced the re-nomination of Jerome Powell to serve as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Powell, a Republican who began his current term under President Trump, has enjoyed a reputation as a moderate in volatile times. Thanks to that reputation, he has been the presumptive candidate for Biden's nomination for months. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, herself a former Fed chair, praised "[t]he steady leadership of Chair Powell and the Federal Reserve" in a statement alongside the nomination.

Recently, however, rumors have emerged that the Biden administration was giving more consideration to Fed governor Lael Brainard as a future chair. Brainard, while more appealing to the progressive wing of the Democrats, was expected to face a tougher time among Republicans in the Senate.

Nonetheless, the White House's announcement carefully highlighted the nomination of Brainard to serve as vice chair. Indeed, the announcement uses Powell's name 16 times to Brainard's 14.

Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who chairs the Senate Banking Committee that will oversee Powell's confirmation hearings, said in a separate statement: "Chair Jerome Powell has led our economy through a historic pandemic, and under his and President Biden’s leadership, unemployment has fallen and workers are seeing increased bargaining power."

The Biden administration still has three openings to fill on the board of the Federal Reserve, including a vice chairmanship of supervision that Randal Quarles recently vacated.

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