WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Monday that he’s nominating Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing Powell’s stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed’s ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market.
Biden also said he would nominate Lael Brainard, the lone Democrat on the Fed’s Board of Governors and the preferred alternative to Powell for many progressives, as Vice Chair.
The president said he will fill the three remaining slots on the board, including Vice Chair for Supervision, a bank regulatory post, in “early December.” He’s also “committed to improving the diversity” of the board, according to the White House.
In the announcement, the White House touted the economic progress that has been made since Biden took office. Since then, the Biden administration says the economy has created more than 5.6 million jobs, unemployment has fallen to 4.6%, and the pace of nation’s economic growth exceeds the rest of the developed world.
The administration attributes that success to the “decisive action” by Powell and the Federal Reserve.
“Chair Powell has provided steady leadership during an unprecedently challenging period, including the biggest economic downturn in modern history and attacks on the independence of the Federal Reserve,” wrote the White House.
The administration says Brainard also played a key leadership role at the Federal Reserve.
“Powell and Brainard share the Administration’s focus on ensuring that economic growth broadly benefits all workers,” the White House wrote. “That’s why they oversaw a landmark re-evaluation of the Federal Reserve’s objectives to refocus its mission on the needs of workers of all backgrounds. And they’ve advanced key priorities that the president shares, like addressing the financial risks posed by climate change, and staying ahead of emerging risks to our financial system.”
Biden released the following statement on the nominations:
“While there’s still more to be done, we’ve made remarkable progress over the last 10 months in getting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again. That success is a testament to the economic agenda I’ve pursued and to the decisive action that the Federal Reserve has taken under Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard to help steer us through the worst downturn in modern American history and put us on the path to recovery. As I’ve said before, we can’t just return to where we were before the pandemic, we need to build our economy back better, and I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before. Together, they also share my 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.”