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The Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would be hiking interest rates for the first time in three years as inflation rages out of control ran counter to a White House talking point that the body’s ability to act was hamstrung due to obstructionism by Senate Republicans.
On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s response to a question from Fox Business‘s Edward Lawrence contradicted claims from the Biden administration that GOP senators being “AWOL” on the confirmations of himself and other Federal Reserve nominees was a contributing factor to the highest prices in nearly four decades.
Lawrence asked Powell, “Given you’re not actually confirmed, and Governor Brainard is not actually confirmed, has there been any impact on your job or the Fed’s ability to handle inflation?”
“None whatsoever,” answered Powell who was given the nod by Biden for a second term in November. The president also nominated Dr. Lael Brainard as vice-chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System but Democrats have insisted that all five nominees be moved forward including one who is highly controversial.
Last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that “Republicans are AWOL on the fight against inflation, at this pivotal moment in our economy, everyone understands we need a full Federal Reserve board, the first one in nearly a decade, to tackle inflation and bring prices down for American families,” a claim that was debunked by Powell after the Fed acted despite his not being confirmed.
“Republicans are AWOL on the fight against inflation.”
— WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on GOP refusing to vote on Federal Reserve nominees pic.twitter.com/Aowir7HjbE
— The Recount (@therecount) February 16, 2022
“All we’re asking is for Republicans to show up and do their job. Not showing up is not delivering on the commitment you made to the American people when they elected you,” Psaki added during her February 16 press briefing.
On the day prior to Psaki’s AWOL remark, she also inveighed against Senate Republicans, saying, “That’s totally irresponsible in our view. It’s never been more important to have confirmed leadership at the Fed to help continue our recovery and fight inflation.”
“Republicans are out there saying inflation’s a problem. It’s a huge issue — we agree. And then they’re not even bothering to show up to even vote against these nominees to the Federal Reserve. What message does that send to the American public?” she asked.
Democrats had faced resistance over one nominee in Sarah Bloom Raskin, a climate change zealot and wife of House impeachment ringleader Rep. Jamie Raskin who it was feared would use her position as Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision to further the left’s extreme crusade to replace fossil fuels with green energy.
Last week, Psaki continued to scapegoat Republicans pressed on moving the stalled nominations along without Raskin.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said the ‘core issue’ behind the stalling of Federal Reserve board nominees is the ‘lack of willingness of Republicans to show up to the committee’ pic.twitter.com/Wt4amhrQ7j
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 11, 2022
Raskin was forced to withdraw this week after Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia came out against her, striking yet another blow against Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda which some have suggested is a Trojan horse for the radically transformational Green New Deal that has been championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other far-left Democrats.
Following Raskin’s withdrawal, the nominations of the remaining four Federal Reserve members was advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee by a 23-1 vote with only Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts resisting.
Psaki deftly pivoted after the Fed’s announcement, shifting the blame for inflation overseas by pointing the finger at Vladimir Putin.
“We continue to believe that the United States economy is positioned well to deal with the challenges ahead, even as we continue to monitor. Obviously, there are events that impact the economy, including an invasion of a foreign country, and we’re seeing that impact as well play out in the economic data,” she said during Wednesday’s press briefing.
Some of the details may change but the key component of Democrat messaging on the economic suffering that has been inflicted upon Americans is that none of it is Biden’s fault.
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