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President Joe Biden nominated Jerome Powell for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Monday, ending weeks of speculation over whether the president would replace the Republican who led the central bank’s response to the pandemic with Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a Democrat Whose courage her stance on climate change made her a favorite among progressives for the coveted leadership role.

Important facts

In a statement Monday morning, Biden announced that he had selected Powell, 68, for an additional four-year term from February pending final Senate approval.

Powell was first appointed to the Fed leadership by President Barack Obama in 2012 and has chaired Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen since the end of the Fed’s tenure in 2018.

Progressive Democrats, however, have questioned Powell’s reappointment in recent months, trying to replace him with Brainard, who believes the Fed should take bigger steps to combat climate change – unlike Powell, who has instead said that this is not a top priority.

Still, Powell was seen as a safer choice for Senate approval, given his popularity among Republicans and moderate Democrats alike. his previous appointment was approved by an overwhelming majority of 84-13 votes across both parties.

The president nominated Brainard, the only Democrat on the Fed’s seven-member executive board and a former Obama Treasury Department official, to be vice chairman of Richard Clarida, whose term ends on January 31.

Powell has served on the Fed’s Board of Governors since May 2012 and previously served in the Treasury Department under former President George HW Bush.