Manchin Seeks Meeting With Fed’s Brainard, Follow-Up With Powell
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is looking to meet with Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard and have a follow-up conversation with current Fed Chair Jerome Powell, according to a person familiar with the matter, as President Joe Biden prepares to decide who will lead the central bank.
Manchin remains undecided about whether Powell or Brainard -- the two contenders under consideration by Biden -- would be best for the job, according to the person, who described the senator’s thinking on condition of anonymity. The West Virginia lawmaker has repeatedly questioned the Fed’s bond-buying program this year amid a surge in inflation.
Powell spoke with Manchin by phone on Wednesday, and the central bank chief discussed his assessment of inflation, the person said. The senator’s staff is now working on setting up another meeting with Powell along with a meeting with Brainard.
Biden is expected to announce a Fed decision before the Thanksgiving holiday. While Biden needs Manchin’s vote to pass his $1.64 trillion social-spending package, the senator’s backing on the Fed chair may not be as pivotal.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown said this week he has no doubt the Senate would confirm either Powell or Brainard. Banking Committee approval would be the first step in the confirmation process.
The White House is seeking input from senators to ensure either candidate would get the votes needed for confirmation, according to another person familiar with the process. Powell has public backing from a number of Democratic and Republican senators, including a majority of Republicans on the Banking Committee and key moderate Democrat Jon Tester of Montana.
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