Powell, Federal Reserve, Biden discussed on CNN Political Briefing
Here's what you need to know in politics for Monday, November 22nd. Stability over shake up. Joe Biden nominates Jerome Powell for another term as chair of the Federal Reserve. It was the last big decision sitting on Joe Biden's desk in the Oval Office before the Thanksgiving break and the president made it clear today that he is intending to renominate Jay Powell, the head of the Federal Reserve to serve for another four years. Now this comes as the president also made clear, he is going to nominate fed governor Lyle brainard to serve as vice chair. Now she was a top contender basically the only other contender other than renominating Powell for the top job at the fed. And it's an important insight into Joe Biden's thinking about the economy right now, because J Powell, who Donald Trump nominated as chair of the Federal Reserve back in 2018, is a Republican, and what you see in Biden's thinking here is twofold. One, it's an endorsement, obviously of the job Powell's been doing. Steering the country through a massive economic downturn due to the pandemic. So it is a boost of confidence from Biden in Powell's leadership at the fed, but it is also telling that Biden thinks Powell is the right person to continue to steer the economy forward because the economic challenges that the country's facing now are actually quite different from what they were when the pandemic hit. I mean, Powell was sort of dovish in his approach and made sure that interest rates remained low. That is a very different economic scenario than the issue of inflation that the country is facing now, that requires perhaps a different approach from the fed chair and so Biden renominating him indicates that he thinks Powell is not just a one trick pony, but that he is up for varying challenges in the economy. When Biden made his announcement today at The White House, he stressed the notion of how important it is for a president's pick of fed chair to get broad bipartisan support in the Senate. And that is why he said picking a Republican. He believes is the right move. At this moment, both of both enormous potential and enormous uncertainty for our economy, we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve. Jay is proven the independence that I value in the fed chair. I believe having fed leadership with a broad bipartisan support is important. Especially now in such a politically divided nation. For Powell's part, when he spoke today at the event of The White House, he made clear to the American people he understands the pain that inflation causes in daily life. The unprecedented reopening of the economy, along with the continuing effects of the pandemic led to supply and demand imbalances, bottlenecks and a burst of inflation. We know that high inflation takes a toll on families, especially those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials, like food, housing and transportation. It will use our tools both to support the economy and a strong labor market and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched. And of course, politics is involved in everything and there are two political notes here about Biden's renomination of Powell that are worth including here. One, Biden's also drawing a sharp contrast with Trump because Trump did not renominate Janet Yellen, who was appointed by Obama. And president Trump sort of discontinued that tradition of looking for a bipartisan kind of solution to the fed chair. In fact, Janet Yellen, who now serves as treasury secretary, was Powell's immediate predecessor, she weighed in on Biden's decision on CNBC earlier today. I'm very pleased with this choice. And they are consummate professionals, support and independent fed are completely committed to the feds through a mandate of maximum employment and price stability and I believe they'll have broad support among Congress in the public. And the other political note worth mentioning here is Biden's willingness to pick a fight with his more liberal base. This is a pick that is not at all popular in sort of the left wing of the Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren immediately came out with a statement in opposition to Powell, she does support brainerd as the vice chair and said she will vote to confirm her into that role as a part of Powell's team, but will oppose Powell's renomination. We also know that Sheldon whitehouse and Jeff merkley two other democratic senators already on the record saying they're going to vote against Powell, but here's the key. He's getting accolades and support from some key Democrats, sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, chair of the banking committee on board and says he will vote to confirm. So it is not a widespread sentiment in the Democratic Party to oppose Powell, but it is a popular position to be against him in sort of the Elizabeth Warren, AOC wing of the party, and Joe Biden was willing to fight that fight by announcing his decision to renominate him today. There is no issue that is going to be more significant to Democrats chances at the ballot box next November and in 2024 when Joe Biden's up for reelection, then the economic recovery post COVID. And so this was an enormous decision on the president's part because it puts somebody in the driver's seat here on that very issue, and now Joe Biden's got a hope. It was the right call. That's it for today's political briefing..