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Senate Banking Committee approves Powell to lead Fed

All but one Senator voted for his nomination

As expected, the Senate Banking Committee overwhelmingly approved Jerome Powell Tuesday to lead the Federal Reserve.

Previously, HousingWire reported Powell’s nomination is expected to receive bipartisan support, though some GOP lawmakers have indicated they have concerns about his support for Fed policies under Ms. Yellen. 

During his hearing last week, there were no surprises due to Powell’s time served at the Fed, and he pointed out many of his comments and speeches over the years are already on the record.

As a reminder, after much-anticipation, President Donald Trump officially announced he selected Powell as Fed Chair nominee on Nov. 2. The first talks of Trump's preference for Powell began to come out in October. But up until then, a handful of names were tossed around as options to lead the Fed, including current Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Now, as expected, the committee approved Powell, sending his nomination to a full Senate vote. Not only did Powell pass the first stage of his nomination process in the Senate, but he also did so with nearly full support of the Banking Committee’s members.

All the panel’s Republican and Democrat members voted for Powell except one single Democrat – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. This overwhelming bipartisan support all but seals Powell’s future as Federal Reserve Chair.

The reason for his one lost vote? His stance on regulations when he said there is no danger of banks that are too big to fail.

“I am very concerned that the Fed will systematically roll back postcrisis rules under Governor Powell’s leadership and that is a risk that our financial system cannot afford,” Warren said before the vote.

And while he received a “yes” from other committee members, some said they would still be watching Powell closely during his future tenure at the Fed.

“I will be watching the Fed closely,” said Ranking Committee member Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio. “Americans need a strong financial watchdog that has not forgotten the lessons from the last crisis.”

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