Warren to oppose Powell for new Fed term, citing regulation ‘failures’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Monday she will vote against President Biden’s nomination of Jerome Powell to serve another four years as chairman of the Federal Reserve, citing his “failures on regulation, climate and ethics.”
Warren had previously called Powell “a dangerous man to head up the Fed” and announced in September that she would oppose his nomination.
She argued Monday that Biden’s selection of Powell makes it all the more important that the Senate also confirm the president’s choice of Lael Brainard to serve as vice chair.
“It’s no secret I oppose Chair Jerome Powell’s renomination, and I will vote against him. I will support the President’s nomination of Lael Brainard as Vice Chair. Powell’s failures on regulation, climate, and ethics make the still-vacant position of Vice Chair of Supervision critically important,” Warren said in a statement.
Warren said the vice chair’s post “must be filled by a strong regulator with a proven track record of tough and effective enforcement — and it needs to be done quickly.”
“American taxpayers have bailed out large financial institutions enough times. It’s the job of the Federal Reserve to ensure large financial institutions do not put our economy at risk,” she added.
Warren has previously praised what she called Brainard’s “strong and powerful dissents” in response to deregulatory actions taken under Powell’s leadership.
“She makes a good case for why it is the job of the Federal Reserve to be that cop on the beat, and to make sure the largest financial institutions are not putting our economy at greater risk,” she said this summer in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
Warren’s opposition to Powell means that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have to round up Republican votes for his nomination, which will be an easy task since Powell was nominated to be chairman by former President Trump in 2017.
Two other progressives, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), signaled last week that they would also oppose Powell because of his reluctance to get the Fed more involved in preparing the U.S. economy for future shocks caused by climate change.
“President Biden must appoint a Fed Chair who will ensure the Fed is fulfilling its mandate to safeguard our financial system and shares the Administration’s view that fighting climate change is the responsibility of every policymaker. That person is not Jerome Powell,” the senators said in a joint statement Friday.
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