For two years, President Trump has had significant differences with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, stating, “I disagree with him entirely” and accusing Powell of having a “horrendous lack of vision.”
However, Trump recently exhibited a surprising reversal in his messaging in regard to Powell, praising Powell’s economic approach during the coronavirus pandemic.
“He’s really stepped up”
“I really think he’s caught up and he’s done the right thing, and I think, ultimately, we will be rewarded because of the decision he made,” The Hill quoted Trump as saying Monday night as he briefed the nation on his coronavirus response.
“He’s really stepped up over the last week,” the president said, going on to add, “Jerome, you’ve done a really good job.”
The president’s comments came in the wake of a Monday announcement by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee that it would purchase mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds on an unlimited basis.
“The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time,” a Federal Reserve statement promised.
Although Powell doesn’t have the power to make Fed decisions unilaterally, Trump was quick to credit him for the move.
“I was proud of him. That took courage, and, ultimately, you’re going to see the fruits,” Trump said. “Now, he’s not finished.”
“I mean, he’s got other arrows in the quiver or whatever they say. I will tell you he’s got plenty of arrows, but, no, I’m very happy with the job he did.”
Democrats holding up relief
The quick Fed action has been a marked contrast with how things have been playing out on Capitol Hill. While Republicans had assembled a stimulus package that would provide direct cash payments to Americans and help to affected business, Democrats rejected the measure and touted legislation of their own.
According to USA Today columnist James S. Robbins, the Democratic alternative amounts to “a liberal wish list” with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) calling it “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Robbins notes that the bill includes the word “diversity” 32 times and contains provisions that would limit deportations and implement new climate change regulations.