Brown Opening Statement at Banking Committee Executive Session on Federal Reserve Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following opening statement at today’s executive session on the nomination of Jerome H. Powell to be Chair of the Federal Reserve.

Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I congratulate Governor Powell once again on his nomination, and I look forward to having the same good relationship I had with both Chair Bernanke and Chair Yellen.

While I am disappointed that Chair Yellen was not re-nominated, I believe the nomination of Governor Powell provides our economy with the best chance of continued economic growth. 

On monetary policy, I believe Governor Powell will continue with the gradual rate increases supported by the current FOMC.  This has been helpful to those who were hurt most by the crisis and are still recovering.

On independence of the central bank, I hope Governor Powell will work to conduct monetary policy free from political influence in order to achieve, in his words, “better economic performance.”

And, I appreciate all of the work Governor Powell has done, since he was first confirmed in 2012, to help shape and implement strong rules required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

But, I also have concerns.

I am concerned about the direction the Administration is taking on financial regulation, and I am worried that it will put pressure on the Federal Reserve to weaken its strong rules.

I am worried about many of the things the new Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randy Quarles has said about his plans for financial rules.

And because Republicans in the last Congress refused to confirm President Obama’s nominees to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, we run the risk of too little oversight of the banking industry.  If the future nominees to the Fed share the amnesia of many in Congress, they may further weaken important safety and soundness, consumer, and financial stability rules put in place after the 2008 financial crisis that devastated our country. 

I will support Governor Powell today, but I will be watching the Federal Reserve very closely.  Americans need a strong financial watchdog that has not forgotten the lessons from the last crisis.

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