Senate votes to re-confirm Jerome Powell as Fed chairman

The Washington Examiner reported on Thursday that the Senate voted to re-confirm Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. 

Originally nominated to head the central bank by former President Donald Trump, Powell was asked to remain on the job by President Joe Biden in November of last year.

Powell says it is possible to raise interest rates without causing a recession

The vote for Powell comes as Americans are being hit hard by inflation, with the Examiner noting that the rate of inflation stood at 8.3% for the 12 months ending in April.

Although that figure represented a minor decline from the previous month, it remains at the highest level seen in decades.

Powell has stated that interest rate hikes are a necessary measure, a move that some worry could bring about a recession. However, the Federal Reserve chairman has expressed confidence that such an outcome can be avoided.

“In principle, it seems as though by moderating demand, we could see [job] vacancies come down as a result,” the Examiner quoted him as saying during a press conference earlier this month.

Powell hopes to “put supply and demand at least closer together than they are, and that would give us a chance to get wages down and then get inflation down without having to slow the economy and have a recession and have unemployment rise materially.”

“So there is a path to that. Now, I would say I think we have a good chance to have a soft, or a softish, landing or outcome if you will,” he added.

GOP lawmaker: “I’ve been very disappointed in Chair Powell”

Still, not everyone is convinced that Powell is the right person to address America’s economic woes. Among the doubters is Texas Rep. Kevin Brady.

Brady is the House Ways and Means Committee’s ranking Republican member, and he feels that Powell is partly to blame for the current crisis America is facing.

“I’ve been very disappointed in Chair Powell this year,” Brady was quoted as telling the Examiner.

“He and the Fed dismissed both the labor shortage and then the real dynamics surrounding inflation for far too long — they’re just finally catching up with it.”

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