Trump Pick To Head US Federal Reserve Jay Powell Confirmed By Senate

The Senate approved Jerome Powell seen here in November as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve by a margin of 85 to 12 as the nominee was supported by a majority of Democrats and nearly all Republicans

Jerome Powell has been confirmed as the new Federal Reserve chair after a vote of United States senators last night.

Powell, a current Fed governor, was confirmed by a vote of 85-12, paving the way for him to replace current chair Janet Yellen when she steps down next month. He has served on the Federal Reserve's board since 2012, and would take over when Yellen's term expires on February 3, 2018. Moreover, the central bank officials have also hinted that in the current year, there will be three more interest rate hikes.

Jerome Powell, a multi-millionaire, was backed in a 84-13 vote as chair of the Federal Reserve with support from Republicans and many Democrats. He has supported the cautious approach to interest rate hikes that Yellen pursued during her term.

"I think now the economy is strong, unemployment is low, growth is strong - in fact, it appears to have picked up - so it is time for us to be normalizing interest rates and the size of the balance sheet", Powell told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing in November.

In December, policy makers voted to raise the federal funds rate, which helps determine rates for mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing, to a range of 1.25% to 1.5%.

Among the no votes were four Republicans, including Marco Rubio from Florida and Texas's Ted Cruz, as well as Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont.

Powell is a proponent of financial deregulation but has suggested he supports numerous provisions codified in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

One of the dissenters, Sen.

Powell's confirmation also cements Trump's stamp on the Fed.

Banking committee chairman Mike Crapo, a Republican, said Mr Powell would be "central to ensuring a safe and sound financial system while supporting a vibrant, growing economy".

The regulatory law Congress passed in response to the financial crisis left the Fed significant discretion in writing new rules - effectively relying on the bank's regulators to maintain a healthy financial sector while protecting consumers and the economy as a whole. He graduated cum laude from Georgetown University where he studied worldwide economics.

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