Biden's nominee for Fed's No. 2 post says combating inflation top task

Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable MORE’s pick for vice chair of the central bank, will testify on Thursday that rising inflation in the U.S. is the “most important task” the Fed faces.

Brainard will tell members of the Senate Banking Committee during her confirmation hearing on Thursday that inflation in the country is “too high,” before laying out the central bank’s goal of bringing prices down. 

“Inflation is too high, and working people around the country are concerned about how far their paychecks will go. Our monetary policy is focused on getting inflation back down to 2 percent while sustaining a recovery that includes everyone,” Brainard will say in her opening statement, which was published on Wednesday.

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“This is our most important task,” she will add.

Brainard is slated to testify before the Senate committee one day after the Labor Department announced that the consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of prices in the U.S., rose 7 percent in the year ending in December, which is the highest increase recorded since 1982.

In December alone, the CPI increased by 0.5 percent.

The rising prices are placing a burden on Americans nationwide, who are now forced to spend more money on a variety of goods including apparel and vehicles.

Biden nominated Brainard to serve as vice chair of the Fed in November, and renominated Fed Chairman Jerome PowellJerome PowellBiden selects Sarah Bloom Raskin, two others for Fed board Overnight Energy & Environment — Earth records its hottest years ever On the Money — SCOTUS strikes down Biden vax-or-test rules MORE to serve another term as chief of the central bank.

Powell testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday for a confirmation hearing, a large part of which focused on inflation. He pledged that the central bank will prevent inflation from becoming “entrenched” and called the high prices a “severe threat” to achieving maximum employment.

Brainard on Wednesday will tell the committee that the economy is currently “making welcome progress, but the pandemic continues to pose challenges.”

“Our priority is to protect the gains we have made and support a full recovery,” she will add.