Senate panel approves Powell to lead Fed
WASHINGTON – The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump’s selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The committee vote was 22-1 with all Republicans and every Democrat except Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., supporting the nomination.
The strong committee vote indicated Powell will have no trouble winning approval from the full Senate. That vote has not yet been scheduled.
Warren said she could not support Powell because of her concerns that he would join in efforts by the Trump administration to unravel the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 to strengthen regulation of the nation’s banking sector.
“Governor Powell has made clear repeatedly that he believes the biggest problem in our financial rules is that they are too demanding,” Warren said before Tuesday’s vote. “An army of bank lobbyists and executives have managed to convince Governor Powell that financial rules are strangling the banks and need to be rolled back. There is no evidence to support this claim.”
Powell, who has been a member of the Fed’s board of governors since 2012, was tapped for the chairman’s job after Trump decided against nominating Fed Chair Janet Yellen for a second term. Trump said he wanted to put his own stamp on the central bank.
Vacancies: The White House announced last week that Trump would nominate Marvin Goodfriend, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, to one of three vacant seats on the central bank.
With the nomination of Goodfriend, Trump will have nominated three people to positions on the seven-member Fed board. In addition to selecting Powell as chairman, Trump earlier this year tapped Utah financier Randal Quarles for the position of vice chairman for supervision, a spot where he is expected to play a key role in Trump’s efforts to loosen regulations on the financial sector.
There are two more vacancies for Trump to fill currently and when Yellen’s term ends on Feb. 3, Trump will have three spots to fill.
There have been reports that Trump is considering nominating Mohamed El-Erian, an economist who has served as chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, to serve as vice chairman, replacing Stanley Fischer, who left the board in October.
Another name that has been mentioned is Michelle Bowman, the top banking regulator in Kansas, who could fill the spot on the Fed board reserved for a community banker.