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Powell, who was re-nominated by U.S. President Joe Biden, drew bipartisan backing. Eighty senators voted in favor of his confirmation, and other 19 against it.
On Thursday, former banker Jerome Powell won U.S. Senate confirmation to hold a second four-year term as President of the Federal Reserve Board, which currently fights the highest national inflation in 40 years.
Powell, who was re-nominated by U.S. President Joe Biden, drew bipartisan backing. Eighty senators voted in favor of his confirmation, and the other 19 against it.
Most of the votes against came from Republican Party legislators, though a few Democrats joined them, including Robert Menendez and Elizabeth Warren. Menendez said Powell had not done enough to promote diversity in the U.S. central bank's leadership, while Warren said he had fallen short on bank regulation.
The vote endorsed Powell's handling of the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the short but historically deep 2020 recession that marked his first term. In this term, he will have to fight the sharp set of interest rate hikes since the early 1980s when Paul Volcker led the Fed.
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Powell, who has been on the Fed’s Governors Board since 2012, was first appointed to head the central bank by former President Donald Trump, who soon soured on him for a series of rate hikes.
Trump contemplated trying to oust Powell, but opposition and pro-government politicians rallied to his defense. Amid this situation, the Board President won wide praise for defending the central bank's independence.
Recently, Biden reminded Americans that it is primarily the Board’s job to tackle inflation, which runs above an eight percent annual rate and has lowered his administration's approval ratings. However, he has not forced the bank to take any particular action.