OVERNIGHT MONEY: Filling up the Fed

THURSDAY'S BIG STORY:

Filling up the Fed: The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will look to start filling several holes on the Federal Reserve Board as it vets a trio of picks for the central bank.

The Fed’s board of governors has seven spots, and three of them are currently vacant thanks to Wednesday’s confirmation of Sarah Bloom Raskin to join the Treasury Department.

ADVERTISEMENT
At the top of the heap is Stanley Fischer, who was tapped by President Obama to serve as the Fed’s vice chairman now that Janet Yellen has taken over the top spot.

If there are rock stars in the central banking world, Fischer fits the bill, having previously led the central bank of Israel and teaching the last man, Ben Bernanke, how to run the institution.

Fischer has already earned plaudits from some members of the panel. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) praised Yellen during her appearance last month before the committee for backing the selection.

And while the Fed lost Bloom Raskin to Treasury, it’s an even swap as Lael Brainard, a former top Treasury official on international issues, will also appear as a Fed nominee.

Also appearing before the panel will be Jerome Powell, who currently sits on the Fed board and is seeking confirmation for a full 14-year term after being on the job for the last two years.

The departure of Bloom Raskin, who was confirmed by a voice vote on Wednesday, still leaves the central bank one member short.

“The Treasury Department is gaining a proven and experienced leader who is dedicated to promoting economic prosperity, and enhancing business and consumer confidence,” Lew said.

“I look forward to working with her to safeguard our financial system, drive growth, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all Americans.”

 

WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING

More budgeting on tap: Senate appropriators and the House Foreign Affairs Committee will talk on Thursday about the budget request for the State Department on Thursday with Secretary of State John Kerry, who is heading to London on Friday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an effort to quell rising tensions over Ukraine.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also with chat with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about his agency’s fiscal 2015 budget.

Meanwhile, House appropriators have a full agenda on Thursday with hearings scheduled to talk with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about her agency’s budget. Sebelius said on Wednesday that the Obama administration won't delay ObamaCare's individual mandate or the March 31 deadline for enrolling for health insurance.

Another House subcommittee will chat with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey about funding for the Pentagon.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will discuss his agency’s budget, too, with House appropriators.

Appropriators also will cover the budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement with several top agency officials.

Also on the ever-popular budget front, the House and Senate Homeland Security committees with talk with agency Secretary Jeh Johnson about his budget proposal.

The House Veterans' Affairs Committee will discuss the fiscal 2015 budget with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Getting innovative: The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday will chat with economists and experts about how innovative ideas could help the middle class. 

Covering some ground: The House Financial Services Committee will mark up on Thursday a handful of bills, which include a measure that would adjust the definition of "rural" in mortgage rules crafted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and could allow more lenders to offer balloon loans.

Manufacturing renewal: A House Small Business subcommittee holds a Thursday hearing with small-business owners and experts about how to make more products in the United States and bolster domestic manufacturing.

Economic outlook: The Joint Economic Committee will chat on Thursday with Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, about the president's 2014 economic report.

Luck of the Irish: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a discussion on Thursday with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny about his nation’s economic recovery and the opportunities for increased investment and trade with the United States.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Initial Claims: The Labor Department will release its weekly claims for first-time jobless benefits.

Retail Sales: The Commerce Department will release its February report measuring the total receipts of retail stores. Sales figures are widely followed as the most timely indicator of consumer spending, which represents 70 percent of the nation's economic activity.  

Export Prices-Import Prices: The Commerce Department releases its February report tracking trends in exports and imports. The export data is worth watching for indications of how the global economy is faring. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but given the severe lag of this report relative to other consumption indicators, it is not particularly valuable.

Business Inventories: The Commerce Department will release its January report on sales and inventory from all three stages of the manufacturing process: manufacturing, wholesale and retail.

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Senate panel approves Ukraine bill

— Senate mulls limited Russian sanctions

— Menendez reveals Ukraine bill details

— Dems move to force vote on unemployment bill

— Perez defends minimum wage hike

— Progressive caucus rolls out new budget

— US says EU backing away from promise to nix tariffs

— Obama rallies women lawmakers at meeting

— Perez: No timeline on new overtime regs

— Regulator warns bitcoin carries ‘significant risk’

 

Catch us on Twitter: @VickoftheHill, @peteschroeder, @elwasson and @berniebecker3

For tips and feedback email vneedham@thehill.com