- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 16, 2021

President Biden said Tuesday that he expects to announce his pick to chair the Federal Reserve in “about four days.”

Speaking with reporters in New Hampshire, where he visited to tout his newly signed $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, Mr. Biden said an announcement will likely come by the end of the week.

“As my grandfather would say, with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors, you’re gonna hear that in about four days,” he said.

Mr. Biden was expected to name his pick by Thanksgiving to give the nominee enough time for a Senate confirmation vote before current chair Jerome Powell’s term expires in February.

The president is reportedly deciding between renominating Mr. Powell or Lael Brainard, the sole Democrat currently on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.

Mr. Biden interviewed both candidates at the White House last week.

“I’ve given a lot of thought to it,” Mr. Biden said earlier this month at the United Nations climate-change conference. “I’ve been meeting [with] macroeconomic advisers on what the best choices are. We’ve got a lot of good choices. But I’m not going to speculate now.”

Mr. Powell was nominated in 2017 by former President Trump and confirmed with strong bipartisan support. He would be an easy sell in the evenly split Senate to Republicans, who credit him with keeping the economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Mr. Powell was confirmed in an 84-13 vote, one of the largest for a Trump nominee.

He has also secured a key endorsement from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

But Mr. Powell faced blistering criticism from far-left Democrats after it was revealed that top Federal Reserve officials were trading securities during the pandemic.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Mr. Powell of creating “a culture of corruption” at the bank. The Massachusetts Democrat and progressive hero said the transactions raise “legitimate questions” of possible conflicts of interest and insider trading.

That has created an opening for Ms. Brainard and turned the nomination into a horse race.

Ms. Brainard’s interview with Mr. Biden ran slightly over the allotted one hour. The Wall Street Journal reported that the meeting went better than expected.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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