Powell confirmed by Senate for second term as Fed chair

Incumbent had been renominated by Biden late last year

The US Senate has confirmed Jay Powell to serve a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve, capping off a series of historic votes that have reshaped the top tier of the US central bank as it seeks to tame the highest inflation in 40 years.

Senators on Thursday voted on Mr Powell's renomination, which the president announced in November alongside his selection for the vice-chair position, Lael Brainard, then a sitting Fed governor. Ms Brainard was confirmed by the upper legislative chamber in late April.

Mr Powell – who was elevated to Fed chair by Donald Trump in 2017 after serving as a governor from 2012, and once worked as a top Treasury official under George HW Bush – received 80 votes in support, while 19 senators voted against him.

Lisa Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, and Philip Jefferson, a professor of economics at Davidson College, were also confirmed by the Senate this week to fill two vacancies on the Board of Governors.


Governors sit on the Federal Open Market Committee and retain voting power, meaning they wield significant strength to influence policy as Mr Powell oversees what is likely to be the fastest tightening in recent years.

Vice-president Kamala Harris stepped in on Tuesday to cast the tiebreaking vote in the 50-50 split Senate for Prof Cook, who becomes the first black woman to hold the position in the central bank's 109-year history. Prof Jefferson, who received sweeping bipartisan support on Wednesday, is the fourth black man to serve as a Fed governor. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022