Speed Reads

fed up with inflation

Powell faces pressures from left and right if confirmed for a 2nd term

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who faced a tense Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, is in for a "difficult political balancing act" in his second four-year term, Axios reports.  

According to Axios, Powell is likely to be confirmed, but that hasn't stopped senators from grilling him. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, exhorted Powell against "cooling off" the economy and thereby "making it harder for people to find jobs and stopping paychecks from growing," CNN Business reported.

Brown also called for the prompt implementation of new, stricter ethics rules that would prevent Fed officials from playing the stock market.

On the other side of the aisle, GOP Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania criticized Powell's handling of the inflation crisis, which he infamously spent months dismissing as "transitory" before walking back the statement in November, Bloomberg reported.

Shelby said Powell "missed the boat on addressing inflation" and that "the Fed has lost a lot of credibility" as a result, while Toomey said the Fed's monetary policy has left it "behind the curve" on inflation. Toomey also expressed concerns about what he called the "troubling politicization of the Fed," but said he will still vote to confirm Powell.

Axios describes Powell — who has served under Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden — as a "savvy political operator who is skilled at building bridges across partisan lines."

If his confirmation hearing is any indication, Powell will need all that savviness, and possibly more, to navigate the conflicting pressures he'll face in the next four years.