Fed nominees Powell, Brainard highlight inflation in citing top priorities

Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard’s remarks upon being designated the president’s nominees for Federal Reserve chair and vice chair highlighted numerous priorities ahead that include, among others, reining in inflation.

“We know that high inflation takes a toll on families, especially those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation,” said Powell, the current Fed Board chair. “We will use our tools both to support the economy and a strong labor market, and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched.”

“I am committed to putting working Americans at the center of my efforts at the Federal Reserve,” said Brainard, a current board member. “This means getting inflation down at a time when people are focused on their jobs and how far their paychecks will go.”

President Joseph Biden (D) on Monday announced his intention to nominate Powell and Brainard for four-year terms, respectively, as the Fed chair and vice chair. Powell’s current term as chair ends next January and as a Fed governor ends in 2028. Brainard’s current term on the board ends of 2026. If confirmed, Powell and Brainard would hold the top two Fed Board posts until Jan. 31, 2026.

In his remarks Monday, Powell pointed to a current economy that “is expanding at its fastest pace in many years, carrying the promise of a return to maximum employment.” Besides tackling the current “burst” of inflation, he said key priorities fo rate Fed include “vigilantly guarding the resilience and stability of the financial system, addressing evolving risks from climate change and cyber attacks, and facilitating the modernization of the payments system while protecting consumers.”

Working Americans will be “at the center of my efforts” at the Fed, Brainard said. She said this means getting inflation down as well as “supporting a growing economy that includes everyone. It means ensuring that financial markets are thriving and resilient, and the economy is sustainable for future generations. It means serving all Americans in every community across the country, and ensuring the Federal Reserve reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.”

Powell, in addition, reiterated the importance of the Fed maintaining an independent stance. “Inside the Federal Reserve, we understand that our decisions matter for American families and communities,” he said. “I strongly share that sense of mission, and I am committed to making those decisions with objectivity and integrity, based on the best available evidence, in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence.”

Statement by Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell on his nomination by President Biden

Statement by Governor Lael Brainard on her nomination by President Biden