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Lael Brainard Wins Senate Confirmation to Be Fed Vice Chair

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Lael Brainard was confirmed as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Tuesday in a 52-43 Senate vote, the first of four central bank nominees set for consideration by the chamber.

Brainard, 60, had been considered by President Joe Biden for the Fed’s top job before he chose to keep Jay Powell in that post.

She won over four Republicans on the Banking Committee after a relatively friendly confirmation hearing, though most GOP senators still opposed her because of her views on regulation.

Brainard had dissented from a number of moves to reduce the regulatory burden on banks in recent years.

Biden’s three other nominees, including Powell, are still awaiting confirmation votes, some of which could come this week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had scheduled a procedural vote on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Lisa Cook, who Republicans oppose. However the absence of two Democratic senators who tested positive for Covid-19 means it is likely to fail and will have to be reconsidered later.

Powell, who is nominated for another term as Fed chair, and Fed governor nominee Philip Jefferson have widespread support and may not face attempts by Republicans to extend debate.

Biden has a fifth nominee — Michael Barr for vice chair for supervision — awaiting a hearing by the Banking Committee.

(Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg

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