Jerome Powell confirmed for second term as Federal Reserve chair

Both Republican and Democratic senators voted against reconfirming Powell, but he ultimately passed with bipartisan support
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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell in Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2020
Samuel Corum / Getty Images

The Senate voted 80-19 on Thursday to confirm Jerome Powell to a second term as Federal Reserve chair, even as inflation has hit record highs under his watch.

The 19 "Nay" votes came from 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats and included a range of Senators from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted after her "Nay" vote, "Working families should not bear the cost of fighting inflation. As Fed Chair, Jerome Powell must focus on strengthening our economy without slamming the brakes on its growth or hurting families already struggling with higher prices."

Other Senate Democrats gave varied reasons for voting against Powell for a second term.

"Climate chaos is an urgent and potentially catastrophic economic threat. Jerome Powell has failed to take it seriously, failed to keep big financial institutions from loading up on risk, and failed to adequately regulate Wall Street," Sen. Jeff Markley (D-Ore.) tweeted. "I voted NO on his nomination today."

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he voted "Nay" because "under Powell's leadership, the Fed continues to miss critical opportunities to appoint Latinos at the highest levels of its leadership."

Powell has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve since 2018. 

The Fed raised interest rates last week by half of a percentage point in an effort to slow record U.S. inflation.