The Senate confirmed Adriana Kugler to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on a 53-45 vote, approving the central bank’s first Hispanic policymaker and capping a Biden administration diversity push at one of the world’s most powerful economic institutions.
(Bloomberg) — The Senate confirmed Adriana Kugler to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on a 53-45 vote, approving the central bank’s first Hispanic policymaker and capping a Biden administration diversity push at one of the world’s most powerful economic institutions.
Kugler’s confirmation comes a day after the Senate confirmed Philip Jefferson as the Fed’s second Black vice chair and Lisa Cook, the first Black woman on the board, to a full 14-year term.
Kugler’s nomination followed years of lobbying by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez for President Joe Biden to name a Hispanic member to the board. The New Jersey Democrat has pointed to the contributions Hispanics have made to the economy and has argued they deserved a seat at the table where key decisions are made.
“In the 110-year history of the Federal Reserve, Hispanics have been shut out,” Menendez said in an interview shortly before the vote. “Not to have a voice there that ultimately can present that perspective has been a tremendous insult to the community.”
Kugler, a Colombian-American economist who is currently the US representative to the World Bank, replaces the governor slot vacated by Lael Brainard, who left the board to become a top Biden adviser. Kugler has been on leave from Georgetown University, where she has been a professor, and she previously served a stint as the chief economist at the Labor Department during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thanked Menendez on the Senate floor for advocating for Kugler and touted the elevation of “fresh, diverse perspectives to our nation’s central bank.”
Republicans mostly backed Jefferson, but most opposed Cook and Kugler. Though all three pledged to focus on bringing down inflation during their confirmation hearings, Republicans expressed concern about other issues, including new capital requirements for larger banks being prepared by Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr.
–With assistance from Tyler Kendall.
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