WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s announcement that he will renominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve and Dr. Lael Brainard as Vice Chair: 

“I congratulate Mr. Powell and Dr. Brainard for their nominations by President Biden to lead the Federal Reserve. Mr. Powell has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to full employment during his first term as Fed Chair, including his celebration of ‘great things happening from a tight labor market’ and enthusiasm for workers’ bargaining power, which, he noted, led to employers ‘going to prisons and getting to know people before they came out and giving them jobs as they came out.’ This is the perspective we need at the Federal Reserve as it steers the economy through the turbulence of the pandemic and toward a truly equitable recovery.

“As a result of Powell and Brainard’s support for full employment, as well as Congressional Democrats’ passage of the President’s American Rescue Plan earlier this year, the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6 percent in October. In contrast, it took more than nine years after the Great Recession for unemployment to fall to this level. A full employment commitment will continue to be critical as the Fed is pressured to raise interest rates and throw people out of work, despite the fact that we are still 4.2 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. Rate hikes would be unnecessary and cause much more suffering through lower employment and wages, harming communities of color disproportionately.

“In addition, I hope that under Powell and Brainard’s leadership, the Fed does much more to advance the Progressive Caucus’s priorities of tackling climate change and monopoly power, as well as Wall Street corruption and the need to aggressively regulate the financial sector. As our caucus noted last year, the Federal Reserve has significant authority under the Dodd Frank Act to address the threat climate change poses to the stability of our financial markets. It is crucial that the Federal Reserve take strong action on this front.

“I am pleased that the President nominated two vocal proponents of full employment who have repeatedly shown their willingness to resist partisan pressures, and I hope that their nominations will be rapidly confirmed by the Senate.”