Referring to “decisive action” taken by his respective nominees to be chair and vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board, President Joe Biden (D) Monday said both Jerome H. (“Jay”) Powell and Lael Brainard had helped steer the nation through the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis and put the economy on the path to recovery.
If approved by the Senate, the pair would be confirmed to serve four-year terms in the positions.
The White House also, in a statement, indicated the president intends to nominate candidates for three open slots on the Fed Board beginning in December. The president must also nominate a board member as vice chair for supervision for the board.
The term of current Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida (in both that position and as a member of the board) expires in February. Monday’s statement from the White House indicated nothing about keeping Clarida on the board.
Biden said the focus of both Powell and Brainard on keeping inflation low, prices stable and “delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before.” He asserted that both share his “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.”
“Fundamentally, if we want to continue to build on the economic success of this year we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve – and I have full confidence after their trial by fire over the last 20 months that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard will provide the strong leadership our country needs,” he said.
Powell was confirmed by the Senate for a four-year term as chair of the seven-member board in 2018 after being nominated by then-President Donald Trump (R). His term in that role ends officially in February; his term as a Fed Board member runs to January 2028.
Brainard has served on the Fed Board since June 2014 after being nominated by then-President Barack Obama (D); her terms runs until January 2026. While at the Fed, she has been involved in several key issues related to financial institution regulation. Those include: being the Fed’s point person on reform of rules implementing anti-redlining laws (the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA) and leading the Fed’s efforts in developing a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week payments system (known as FedNow), expected to debut in 2023.
If confirmed, Powell and Brainard would serve terms that end in 2026.
The White House, in a press release, stated that Powell and Brainard have “advanced the key priorities” of the president’s. Those include, the White House said, addressing the financial risks posed by climate change and staying ahead of emerging risks to the financial system.