Manchin setting up meeting with Powell over inflation

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks to reporters prior to a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Wednesday that he is setting up a meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to talk about inflation. 

Manchin, asked if he was meeting with Powell, said his staff was working to set up a meeting, adding, “We’ve been trying.”

“Absolutely,” Manchin said, asked if he was wanting to talk with Powell about inflation. “I want to find out why we’re still buying more quantitative easing.”

A staffer said that Manchin’s meeting with Powell is not set for Wednesday. 

Manchin has been signaling concerns about inflation for months, including sending up a red flag after data last week showed inflation at a 30-year high. 

“From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and D.C. can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day,” Manchin said last week.

Manchin has also been pushing for months for the Federal Reserve to stop quantitative easing, when the Fed buys billions of dollars in safe assets from financial institutions in an effort to stabilize the economy.

Manchin previously sent Powell a letter in August urging him to scale back the bond buying over concerns about inflation. 

“With the recession over and our strong economic recovery well underway, I am increasingly alarmed that the Fed continues to inject record amounts of stimulus into our economy by continuing an emergency level of quantitative easing,” Manchin wrote at the time. 

The meeting comes as President Biden has estimated that he’s days away from announcing if he will re-nominate Powell to lead the Federal Reserve. 

Manchin hasn’t said if he would support Powell’s nomination, though some of his colleagues said they’ve spoken to him about the Fed chair. 

“Manchin wasn’t enamored with him when I talked with him,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who supports Powell’s nomination. 

“Powell’s got a proven record, he’s a good man. We need him right now,” Tester added.  

Tags Federal Reserve Inflation Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester

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