Senate confirms Powell for second term at Fed
The Senate has greenlighted Jerome Powell for another term as Federal Reserve chairman after President Joe Biden asked him to continue serving in the role.
Powell, a Republican who was first nominated by former President Donald Trump, has attracted bipartisan support, and Thursday’s vote was 80–19. He gained a second four-year term as the top central banker despite presiding over the highest inflation in four decades, and he now faces the urgent task of tightening monetary policy to ease price pressures.
SENATE CONFIRMS BIDEN FED NOMINEE LISA COOK AFTER BRUISING NOMINATION FIGHT
Powell, whose term ended in February, was renominated for the role last year. He has managed to garner support from Democrats because of his defense of the central bank’s independence during the Trump years and for his strong support for the pursuit of full employment.
The Fed has been in the spotlight for allowing inflation to soar far above its 2% target and then scrambling to control it. Consumer prices increased 8.3% for the 12 months ending in April, a slight downward tick from the 8.5% that was felt in March but still near the highest level since the early 1980s.
Earlier this month, the central bank hiked its interest rate target by half a percentage point. The Fed usually raises rates by just a quarter of a percentage point, so the more aggressive move is equivalent to two normal rate hikes at once and indicates that the Fed is concerned about the growing prices.
Powell has also signaled that the Fed might try to conduct additional half-point hikes at its future meetings.
Some economists fear that because the central bank waited so long to tighten monetary policy, it now is l …