Senate Banking Chairman Expects Fed Nominee Hearings in January
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown said Tuesday that confirmation hearings for Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chair and Lael Brainard for vice chair won’t be held until January, along with three other Fed nominees yet to be named.
Brown had previously said he was considering hearings for President Joe Biden’s nomination of Powell for a second term as head of the central bank and Brainard as vice chair as early as this month. But he said Tuesday that the White House hasn’t sent all the paperwork necessary for their nominations and committee members need time to prepare questions.
“I don’t think it’s fair to anybody to do it before January,” Brown said. “And we also hope to get the other three nominees. We’re not going to do five together, I’m not sure how we’re going to do it.”
The White House has only sent formal notification of Powell’s nomination to the Senate. Biden has three other positions to fill on the seven-member Fed board, including the pivotal vice chair for supervision slot previously held by Randal Quarles. The White House has said it plans to announce Biden’s picks for the other seats in early December.
“We hope to have those soon and continue to hope to have those out to you this month,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday at a briefing.
The president is under pressure from progressive Democrats, who were disappointed by his renomination of Powell and are clamoring for a diverse slate for the open positions that would take on the financial risks of climate change and Wall Street speculation with new regulations.
That, however, has drawn warnings from Republicans who say they are wary of the central bank’s regulatory reach. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, the top Republican on the Banking Committee, has been sharply critical of what he calls “mission creep” at the Fed on issues like climate and racial justice.
Bloomberg has previously reported several names being considered by the White House for the top regulator spot, including Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor and former deputy Treasury secretary; and Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Other candidates for board slots include Valerie Wilson, director of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy; Lisa Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University; William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO and Karen Dynan, a former top Treasury official under President Barack Obama and an economics professor at Harvard University.
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