June 21, 2023

Scott Raises Concerns Over Federal Reserve Board Nominees

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs today considered three of President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors – Philip Jefferson, Lisa Cook, and Adriana Kugler. In his opening statement, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) expressed concerns with two of those nominees and cited highly politicized public statements made by Lisa Cook and Adriana Kugler, questioning whether nominees with such partisan public records are suitable to serve on a Board that is crucially independent and apolitical.

Ranking Member Scott’s opening remarks as delivered:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you all for your willingness to serve our nation in your very important roles that we have the responsibility and constitutional responsibility to vet and talk about. Mr. Jefferson, thank you for your willingness, Governor, to continue to support the philosophy that I think is really embedded in the American culture: that the free market system is the marvel of the world, one that requires us to continue to focus our attention on how do we improve it based on the current philosophy and the mandate of the Fed, and I thank you for your willingness to do so.

Before us today, however, are three [nominees], not just one, who are asking us to confirm them to serve the American people through their government-appointed positions. But two of these [nominees] seem more interested in having government serve their personal ideologies and their political priorities. Unlike the famous words, and I paraphrase, of JFK: “Ask not what you can do for your country, but rather, what the country can do for you.” I think Governor Cook and Ms. Kugler both want to use their positions and their influence to influence and immerse their philosophies into the mainstream of American life through these incredibly powerful posts. Examples would include everything from reparations to climate agenda, systemic racism, ESG, and other issues that distract from the actual job of the Fed. Using something like the black unemployment as a way we determine Fed decisions is just as discriminatory as using only the Asian unemployment would be. Very different outcomes, but both very distorting. I think it’s important for us to have [nominees] who want to serve the country and not have their positions be leveraged for their ability to weave into our overall philosophy their ideologies.