WASHINGTON — The US Senate confirmed US President Barack Obama’s two nominees to the Federal Reserve board Thursday, and named Stanley Fischer vice chair after confirming him to the board last month.
The move brings to five the number of people serving on the seven-member board of governors. All five were picked by Obama.
The lawmakers voted 61-31 to confirm Lael Brainard, the former Treasury Department undersecretary for international affairs.
Board member Jerome Powell, a financial policy expert and scholar, was confirmed 67-24 for a second term.
Governors normally serve a 14-year term, unless they are serving the remainder of another’s term, as Powell was doing.
Fischer, a dual US-Israeli national, was nominated by Obama to fill the deputy seat vacated by Janet Yellen, who succeeded Ben Bernanke as chair in early February.
Until last year Fischer served as governor of Israel’s central bank. He will participate in the next monetary policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on June 17 and 18.
He joined the Fed as it seeks to wind down extraordinary stimulus aimed at bolstering the economy’s recovery from the severe 2008-2009 recession.
Fischer’s career includes posts as deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (1994-2001) and chief economist of the World Bank (1988-1990).
Senate Banking Committee chairman Tim Johnson said each of the three confirmees has “a unique set of skills and experience” that will help the board with its efforts to help the US economy recover.
The Fed, Johnson said, “has many important tasks at hand, including the continued implementation of Wall Street reform, establishing policies to improve financial stability, reduce systemic risk and end ‘too-big-to-fail.’”