Senate Confirms Biden’s Fed Nominees
Last week, the Senate confirmed three of President Biden’s Federal Reserve nominees: Philip Jefferson to serve as the Fed’s vice chair, Adriana Kugler to serve on the Fed’s Board of Governors, and the renomination of Lisa Cook to the Board of Governors. With Jefferson’s confirmation, he becomes the second Black man to serve as Fed Vice-Chair.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, said that the nominees “are talented economists and dedicated public servants who will bring new perspectives to the Fed—not just the same old Wall Street consensus. The American people will benefit from their expertise and commitment to low prices and a strong labor market for workers.”
Since joining the Fed, Jefferson has supported every interest-rate decision. However, he has been less certain about the multiagency proposal for the eight U.S. global banks to hold about 19 percent more capital. He said his view would be “informed by the potential impact on banking sector resiliency, financial stability and the broader economy stemming from the implementation.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), said that “together, I am confident that Governors Cook and Jefferson as well as Dr. Kugler will use their combined skills and expertise to successfully build on the economic growth we’ve seen under the leadership of President Biden.”
Jefferson garnered unanimous support from the Senate Banking Committee, but overall was confirmed with 88-10 votes before the full Senate, which was fewer than the 91-7 tally he had last year, according to Banking Dive. Cook, however, won more support than when she was originally confirmed last year, even though Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) was the only Republican to support her.
Republicans have consistently challenged Cook’s experience level with monetary policy. Last year, Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) stated that because her academic background emphasized the cost of racial disparities, it “doesn’t seem related to the mission of the Federal Reserve.”