WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Monday announced he is renominating Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chairman, ending months of speculation on who he would appoint to run the central bank for the next four years.
The White House announced the news in a statement on Monday and Biden himself gave remarks with Powell and current Fed governor Lael Brainard, his nominee for vice-chair in attendance.
“We’ve made enormous progress in this country,” Biden said. He [Powell] made clear to me a top priority will be to accelerate the Fed’s effort to address and mitigate the risk that climate change poses to our financial system and our economy.”
Powell has received criticism from both progressive Democrats and Republicans, who say he is not doing enough to keep inflation in check. They feel he should focus more on climate change and racial equity while pushing the central bank to expand its dual mandate of keeping people at work and prices in check.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.,) has been vocal about her opposition to Powell and was the lone Senate Banking Committee to vote against Powell’s nomination in 2017.
“I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before. Together, they also share my deep belief that urgent action is needed to address the economic risks posed by climate change, and stay ahead of emerging risks in our financial system,” Biden said.
Powell was first nominated to the position by former President Donald Trump back in 2017 and received support from Republicans. Assuming Powell is confirmed by the Senate, he faces a tough challenge in his second term as Fed Chair.
Currently, consumer prices are at a 30-year high. Brainard said in her remarks on Monday she is committed to “getting inflation down at a time when people are focused on their jobs and how far their paychecks will go.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) led a group of five progressive Democrats who called for Biden to select another person to be the new Fed chair.
“We urge President Biden to re-imagine a Federal Reserve focused on eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice,” the statement read, in part.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen put out a statement with her support for Powell, saying the economy will get back to normal under Powell.
“Over the last two years, the American economy has endured one of the most challenging episodes in our nation’s history,” Yellen said in her statement. “The global and domestic economies were brought to a standstill and millions of American families were at risk of permanent scarring. Today, our economy has rebounded with strong job creation, low unemployment, and economic growth that has outpaced our global competitors. The steady leadership of Chair Powell and the Federal Reserve helped ensure that America’s economy was able to recover from a once-in-a-generation health and economic crisis.”