Powell Picks Up an Endorsement From a Senior House Democrat
House Budget Chair John Yarmuth of Kentucky became the latest Democrat to back a second term for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, countering a public campaign by some fellow progressives to pressure President Joe Biden to name someone else to head the central bank.
“Chair Powell’s dedicated commitment to the new monetary policy framework prioritizing inclusive full employment will help our nation achieve an equitable recovery, ensuring no community or corner of the country is left behind,” the Kentucky Democrat, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement Thursday.
Yarmuth added “a consistent and focused Federal Reserve is critical.”
Fed nominations are subject to Senate confirmation, so Yarmuth won’t have a vote on Biden’s choice. But various Democratic factions are trying to influence the president’s decision. A group of the party’s most progressive members, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, on Monday urged Biden to install new leadership at the Fed when Powell’s term expires in February with a broader focus on the financial risks of climate change and other issues.
Some outside advocates have urged Biden to choose Fed Governor Lael Brainard to replace Powell in the powerful chair role to beef up bank regulation and better align the board with Biden’s agenda, but senators have yet done so publicly. The letter to Biden from Ocasio-Cortez and four other progressive Democrats in the House was silent on who to replace him with.
Two Senate Democrats who will be influential in confirmation of the next Fed chair, Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have sharply criticized Powell’s handling of bank regulations and have yet to endorse him for another term.
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