The Senate confirmed Philip Jefferson as vice chair of the Federal Reserve on an 88-10 vote Wednesday, with other central bank nominations also on deck for confirmation votes.
(Bloomberg) — The Senate confirmed Philip Jefferson as vice chair of the Federal Reserve on an 88-10 vote Wednesday, with other central bank nominations also on deck for confirmation votes.
Jefferson, who will be the second Black person to hold the vice chair post, will continue to hold a separate term as governor, which runs through 2036. The vice chair term lasts four years.
Jefferson, 61, has backed every Fed interest-rate decision since he joined the Board of Governors, as the central bank hiked borrowing costs aggressively last year before slowing the pace of increases. Jefferson also signaled a likely pause in hikes ahead of the Fed’s decision in June to hold rates steady.
Much closer votes are expected this week to confirm Fed Governor Lisa Cook for her reappointment to a full 14-year term and Adriana Kugler to the governor slot previously held by Lael Brainard, who is now a top economic adviser to President Joe Biden. Jefferson had unanimous backing in the Banking Committee while Mike Rounds of South Dakota was the only Republican on the panel to support Cook and Kugler.
All three in their confirmation hearing pledged to work to bring down inflation. Jefferson and Cook also backed tailoring bank regulations as the Fed considers higher capital requirements in the wake of bank failures, including Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse earlier this year. Many Republicans have expressed concerns that new bank regulations could go too far and weaken the economy.
Democrats, meanwhile, have touted the historic diversity of Biden’s Fed picks, with Kugler the first Hispanic Fed governor and Jefferson and Cook both Black.
“If confirmed, our Board of Governors will better reflect the country, and the people who make it work,” Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown said.
Jefferson has previously served as an economist at the Fed, an economics professor and dean at Davidson College and chair of the economics department at Swarthmore College.
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