OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
President Joe Biden has once again ignited fury among the far-left of his Democratic Party after he made his decision on a key administration pick Monday.
The anger followed the White House’s announcement that Biden chose to renominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to another four-year term when his current one expires next year.
Meanwhile, Lael Brainard, a leftist and the only Democratic Federal Reserve governor, was under consideration as well, but Biden instead chose her to be Powell’s deputy and to serve as vice-chair.
The New York Times reported:
The much-awaited decision was a return to tradition in which the central bank’s top official is reappointed regardless of partisan identity — a norm bucked by former President Donald J. Trump, who appointed Mr. Powell instead of renominating Janet L. Yellen.
While some progressive Democrats criticized Mr. Powell’s reappointment, the move was primarily greeted with bipartisan praise that suggested an easy path to confirmation.
The president and his top aides believe that Mr. Powell has done well in supporting the economy through the pandemic recession and a halting recovery, while amassing credibility by standing up to political pressure from Mr. Trump.
“At this moment, of both enormous potential and enormous uncertainty for our economy we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve,” Biden said on Monday in announcing his pick. “And we need people of character and integrity, who can be trusted to keep their focus on the right long-term goals of our country, for our country.”
“I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before,” Biden added in a statement.
America needs steady, independent, and effective leadership at the Federal Reserve. That’s why I will nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Dr. Lael Brainard to serve as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 22, 2021
The Times noted that Biden pondered his choice of Powell or Brainard for months, consulting with moderate and progressive Democrats along the way, before finally sticking with Trump’s choice — a decision that has once again angered the party’s far-left faction.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called Powell “a dangerous man” to remain in control of the Fed, as other critics reacted online.
Elizabeth Warren: “It’s no secret I oppose Chair Jerome Powell’s renomination, and I will vote against him. I will support the President’s nomination of Lael Brainard as Vice Chair. Powell’s failures on regulation, climate, and ethics make” vice chair spot “critically important.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 22, 2021
President Biden must appoint a Fed Chair who will ensure the Fed is fulfilling its mandate to safeguard our financial system, and who shares the Administration’s view that fighting climate change is the responsibility of every policymaker. That person is not Jerome Powell.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) November 19, 2021
Biden has picked Jerome Powell, the Trump appointee, as head of Central Bank again.
“Nothing will fundamentally change” is the only truth Biden spoke. pic.twitter.com/2sDVpEdusH
— Mo ✊🏾🔥 (@MozFrame) November 22, 2021
We need a focus on climate action in all facets of the federal government, including the Federal Reserve. Jerome Powell has already proven the he won’t answer calls for climate action. I will vote no. https://t.co/o1bCD0i4yE
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) November 22, 2021
Jerome Powell logging on with his burner account to see Econ Twitter cheering on his renomination pic.twitter.com/tcnJb15YVR
— Neoliberal 🌐 (@ne0liberal) November 22, 2021
We can’t do it, it’s illegal
JP Morgan: pic.twitter.com/K0JapE9MAt
— Jerome Powell (@alifarhat79) November 20, 2021
All said, there were also supporters of Biden’s decision to stick with Powell.
“This is a good decision,” former Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told CNN. “While Lael Brainard is a most capable economist, appointing her under pressure from progressive senators like Elizabeth Warren would have sent a signal that the Fed has been overly politicized, irreparably damaging its reputation for independence.”