Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is nearing the end of his first term — and some prominent Democrats are campaigning to ensure that he does not receive a second one.
According to reports, a group of progressive lawmakers signed a letter this week demanding that President Joe Biden replace Powell when the current term expires next year.
“Focused on eliminating climate risk”
The letter was signed by, among others, three members of the so-called “Squad” on Capitol Hill: U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
Among their arguments was the assertion that Powell has been insufficiently proactive on issues including race and climate change.
“As news of the possible reappointment of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell circulates, we urge President Biden to re-imagine a Federal Reserve focused on eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice,” the lawmakers wrote.
Throughout Powell’s term, they asserted, the central bank has taken “very little action to mitigate the risk climate change poses to our financial system.”
To reverse that trend, the letter called for “a whole of government approach” that would benefit and preserve the nation’s financial systems.
“Bold and decisive action”
“At a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is warning of the potential catastrophic and irreversible damage inflicted by a changing climate, we need a leader at the helm that will take bold and decisive action to eliminate climate risk,” the elected officials continued.
Furthermore, they asserted that Powell has undermined “reforms enacted in the wake of the Great Recession regulating the largest banks, including capital and liquidity requirements, stress tests, the Volcker Rule, and living will requirements.”
Powell was nominated to his current position by then-President Donald Trump in 2017 and assumed office the following February for a four-year term.
Despite the complaints of some on the left, many economists predict that Biden will choose to nominate Powell for another term at the helm of the Federal Reserve.
For his part, Credit Suisse chief economist James Sweeney said it is “likely at this point” that Powell will serve another term, which is sure to compound the frustrations currently being expressed by members of the Squad and various progressive pundits.