Prominent Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sharply criticized Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in an interview this week, stating that the central bank leader’s actions would cause an economic downturn.
According to Warren, Powell was “trying to drive” the country into a recession. She made the comments on CNN, telling host Jake Tapper that she was stating “very clear as publicly as humanly possible that I didn’t think that he should be reconfirmed as chair of the Fed.”
Warren added, “I think he’s doing a really terrible job.”
The Massachusetts senator has been among the most vigorous opponents of the Fed chair, voting against his initial confirmation in 2018. Warren was among 19 senators that voted against Powell receiving a second term after President Joe Biden renominated him.
Warren cited Federal Reserve estimates that increasing interest rates would result in two million layoffs nationwide. She said that this would “raise the unemployment rate by more than a point within a single 12-month period.”
The senator said that such an approach has been tried and resulted in a dozen recessions.” She added that Powell’s plan was “a danger to our economy,” calling him “a dangerous man to have in this job.”
The criticism of the Fed chair is not exclusive to Warren, as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) heavily criticized Powell in an interview with Fox News. Scott said that spending by the Democratic Party and monetary expansion by the Federal Reserve drives inflation.
Regarding recent bank failures, Scott said, “you can thank Jay Powell.” The Florida Republican called the Fed’s actions “complete incompetence.”
Scott and Warren are co-sponsoring a bill for an independent inspector general of the Federal Reserve.
Scott said in a statement that Americans “must not bear the brunt of the failures of gross mismanagement and greed at their banks or the incompetence and misdeeds of the government regulators who are there to protect them.”
I'm fighting like hell to protect American families and workers, so the only winners here aren't woke big tech billionaires & Wall Street.
That's why I'm introducing legislation to make needed changes at the Fed & hold bad actors at the banks accountable. https://t.co/pe1WQQT0Na
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 21, 2023
The inspector general would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate and intended to be an “independent authority to fight for the transparency and accountability our citizens need.”