U.S. Senate panel to vote on three Fed nominees April 29

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 24, 2014 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate committee is set to vote on April 29 on three nominees to the Federal Reserve's board of governors, the panel announced on Thursday in a step toward bulking up the depleted U.S. central bank.

The Senate Banking Committee heard testimony on March 13 from Stanley Fischer, President Barack Obama's choice as vice chairman of the Fed, and two other nominees, Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell.

Powell, a governor who needs to be reconfirmed after his term expired, is one of only four current members of the normally seven-member Fed board. Another governor, Jeremy Stein, is retiring in a month, heightening the urgency to confirm the new nominees.

While the Fed is often down a governor or two, it has never had only three.

If Fischer, Brainard and Powell are confirmed as expected, the full Democratic-controlled Senate will also need to vote before they can serve as policymakers at the world's most influential central bank.

Fischer, among the world's foremost monetary economists, most recently ran Israel's central bank. He was also formerly second-in-command at the International Monetary Fund, chief economist at the World Bank, and a vice chairman at Citigroup.

Brainard had served until recently as a top financial diplomat at the U.S. Treasury. Powell's Fed board term ended in January, though he is allowed to stay on until reconfirmation.

The March committee hearing was largely uneventful, revealing little reservation among lawmakers.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bernard Orr)