March 16 (Reuters) – A key Senate panel took place on Wednesday with the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the nomination of two other candidates for the U.S. central bank’s board.
The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Democrat Sherrod Brown, speaking before the vote, praised Powell for his leadership at the Fed during the coronavirus pandemic and for his defense of central bank independence when he was criticized by the president. republican donald trump.
Powell “has earned the opportunity to lead the Fed as chairman,” Brown said.
The vote came shortly after the Fed decided on what is expected to be the first hour of a series of interest rate hikes this year to fight rising inflation.
The panel also celebrated the promotion of Fed Governor Lael Brainard to the Fed’s vice presidency and the appointment of Philip Jefferson, an economist and dean of the faculty of Davidson College in North Carolina.
Their names, along with Powell’s, are now being sent to the full Senate, which will have the final say on their confirmation.
However, Republicans on the panel refused to endorse Lisa Cook, a Michigan State University economics professor whom Biden chose to be the Fed’s first black woman governor.
A tied vote does not end an appointment. However, it complicates and potentially delays it in a Senate that is 50-50 and that Democrats control only by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking position.
(Reporting by Dan Burns and Ann Saphir. Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)