Senate panel approves Powell as Fed chair for second time
WASHINGTON —The Senate Banking Committee for the second time approved the nomination of Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell to be the central bank's chairman.
Even though the committee had approved Powell already in December, a revote was necessary after the Senate adjourned for the year without finalizing his confirmation or agreeing to allow pending nominations to stay in play.
Powell’s nomination was approved Wednesday by voice vote by the Senate panel, with only Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., voting against the nomination. She had also opposed Powell in December, saying she feared a loosening of rules under his watch. "Our financial rules for big banks need to be stronger, not weaker, and I have no faith that Gov. Powell will move the Fed in that direction,” she said.
The Senate panel Wednesday also approved Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision Randal Quarles to serve a 14-year term on the board. He previously had been approved to fill a vacant term that is set to expire. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Warren voted against Quarles' nomination.
The panel also reapproved the nomination of Brian Montgomery as head of the Federal Housing Administration.
The nominees will now need to be confirmed by the full Senate.
Casting votes on the nominations were two new members of the panel, including Alabama Democrat Doug Jones. He was elected in a December special election and was tapped last week to be on the Banking Committee. He voted in favor of the nominees.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, also voted in favor of the nominees. Like Jones, he was assigned to the panel last week. However, Moran is returning to the committee after previous stints.