On Monday, President Joe Biden nominated Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman. Biden nominated Powell, a Republican, for another term at the central bank at a White House event despite opposition from progressive Democrats in Congress who are concerned about his leadership. He also nominated Fed Governor Lael Brainard, the progressives’ choice for the top spot, as vice chair of the board of governors. If confirmed, she would succeed Richard Clarida, whose term expires Jan. 31, 2022.
Biden said he picked Powell because the economy, while showing solid recovery, is still unsettled due to the lingering pandemic, presenting “enormous potential and enormous uncertainty.” The President said that Powell provides a strong element of continuity and security during uncertain times, saying: “When our country was hemorrhaging jobs last year and there was panic in our financial markets, Jay’s steady and decisive leadership helped to stabilize markets and put our economy on track to a robust recovery.” He also praised Powell’s commitment to “delivering full employment. We’re making strong progress toward that goal now.”
During Powell’s first term, the Federal Reserve instituted massive levels of low-interest lending designed to keep small and large businesses afloat during the pandemic while slashing interest rates to near zero. Powell’s nomination now go to the Senate, where he is expected to easily earn confirmation.
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