Federal Reserve nominees to be voted on

Basmalla Attia

President Joe Biden’s Federal Reserve nominees were scheduled for a Senate Banking Committee vote on Feb. 15. As of Tuesday, the vote has been delayed.

Recovering from the pandemic and facing a 7% inflation in the last quarter — the highest in nearly four decades — the Fed is at a crucial point. Biden believes these nominations are people with the necessary experience, skills and judgment to guide the Fed forward.

Biden nominated Jerome Powell for a second term as chair of the Fed’s Board of Governors of the Fed and Lael Brainard to serve as its vice chair.

Sarah Bloom Raskin was nominated as the vice chair for supervision for the Fed while Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson were nominated to serve as governors, according to a White House statement.

Powell has served as an assistant secretary and as an undersecretary under President George H.W. Bush. He has worked as a lawyer and investment banker, and became the chairman of the Board in 2018.

He was nominated by Biden due to the progress he’s made in getting the economy moving again after the pandemic and to maintain a sense of stability going forward.

In addition to serving as a governor, Brainard has long fought for a fairer economy for the workers and recently delivered speeches on climate change and economic disparities. She is considered to be a progressive candidate for the Board’s vice chair position.

For these reasons, Brainard doesn’t come across as a favorable nominee for Republican senators.

Raskin previously served on the Board of Governors in the Fed, worked at the Federal Reserve of New York and the joint committee of Congress. Additionally, she has been a banking counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and served as the commissioner of financial regulation for Maryland, according to the Federal Reserve History.

Raskin has been a strong proponent of bank regulators, considering the financial risk posed by climate change. This makes her unfavorable to Republican senators, who are currently delaying the vote mainly because of her. To get over this obstacle, she will need the majority of the senators to win confirmation, should the vote happen.

Cook served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. She served on the advisory boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, according to a White House Statement.

Cook has been attacked by Republicans who claim that she is not qualified for the Fed. She replied to those remarks, stating that she takes pride in her academic record and is being targeted for untrue attacks, according to CBS News.

If confirmed, Cook would become the first Black woman in history to serve on the Board.

Jefferson is a vice president for academic affairs, dean of faculty and professor at Davidson College. He has contributed a plethora of research on poverty, some of which he received grants for.

He previously served on the Board of Trustees in Vassar College and Board of Advisors of the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute at Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Additionally, he was an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

He is favored by Republican senators, who stated that he is qualified for this position, according to CBS News.

If the committee finally convenes and the five nominees are confirmed,  the majority of the Fed Board will be women, allowing women to have greater representation in decisions that involve the economy.

Moving forward, a more diverse Fed Board will lead to decisions that are more reflective of people, and this representation is bound to bring significant progress to better assist workers in this country.