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Waters Applauds Nominations of Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson to Leadership Roles in the Federal Reserve

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement applauding President Biden’s nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson to key leadership roles within the Federal Reserve.

“I am pleased that President Biden has decided to nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin to be Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), as well as Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to serve as Governors on the Federal Reserve Board. If confirmed by the Senate, these appointments would be historic, with the first Black woman to ever serve on the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in the central bank’s 108-year history, as well as the fourth Black man to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, and the first woman to serve as Vice Chair for Supervision. Their nominations are a rare opportunity to transform the Federal Reserve by ensuring that working families and people of color are represented at the highest levels of government.

“Over the years, I have worked closely with Sarah Bloom Raskin and Lisa Cook and have relied on their expertise and sound judgement regarding a wide range of economic, financial stability, and financial regulatory matters, so I look forward to continue working closely with them as well as Philip Jefferson in their new roles.

“At a time when COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives, the economic fallout from the pandemic has hurt communities of color the most. Black and Latinx businesses were the hardest hit by the pandemic, with many of these businesses closing after facing challenges accessing pandemic relief programs. For example, research has shown that counties with large numbers of Black-owned businesses received fewer Paycheck Protection Program loans compared to other counties. Black and Latinx unemployment remains higher than the national average and above pre-pandemic levels, while working families struggle to rebuild their savings and keep a roof over their head. Diverse and transformative leadership at the Fed that intimately knows the impact of the economy on communities across the country and with a proven track record for addressing these issues is imperative. Persistent economic inequality and the racial wealth gap have been exacerbated by the pandemic and, without strong and focused leadership, will become worse. The expertise that Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson bring to the subject of racial economic disparities in the labor market are crucial perspectives to have at the table as the Fed navigates an economy where recovery is being experienced unevenly and where concentration and supply chain disruption have led to higher prices.

“In recent years, vacancies on the Board have often languished for prolonged periods, which has led to Dr. Cook being nominated to serve the remaining two years of the term previously served by Janet Yellen before she stepped down in 2018. In light of Dr. Cook’s impeccable credentials, I’m hopeful that she will be appointed to a full 14-year term on the Board in January 2024, so that the Board and country will benefit from her economic expertise and leadership for years to come. Once all of President Biden’s nominees to the Board of Governors are confirmed, the Board will have a complete set of seven governors for the first time in nearly 10 years.

“As a former Treasury Deputy Secretary, Fed Governor, and state regulator, Sarah Bloom Raskin would bring back to the Fed a deep level of expertise on a range of economic and financial supervisory issues, including strengthening cybersecurity in the financial sector, ensuring consumers have equal access to affordable credit, and supporting the work of diverse and mission-driven community financial institutions.

“For years, I have called attention to the fact that leaders at the Federal Reserve are supposed to represent the public. So, I applaud President Biden on his nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson to these critical positions, and if confirmed, look forward to their service and leadership at the Federal Reserve.”

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