President Joe Biden meets with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the White House as rising inflation takes a bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks and the president’s public approval.
Watch the meeting in the player above.
However, the president vowed not to step in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to contain inflation.
“I’m not going to interfere with his critically important work,” Biden said.
Tuesday’s meeting is the first since Biden re-nominated Powell to head the central bank in November and comes two weeks after the Senate confirmed him for a second term.
It also represents some reversal by Biden as inflation has developed into a threat.
The president insisted in April 2021 that he was “too fast about not talking” with the independent Fed and refrained from being seen as “telling them what they should and shouldn’t do”. want.
“Chair Powell and other Fed leaders have noted at this time that they have a laser focus on addressing inflation, just as I am,” Biden said. “With a large complement of board members now confirmed, I know those tools and monetary policy will be used to address rising prices for the American people.”
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The White House along with the Fed initially portrayed the rise in inflation as a temporary side effect due to supply chain issues as the US emerged from the pandemic.
Republican lawmakers have increasingly criticized Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from last year for pumping too much money into the economy and creating more inflation. That narrative has also struck a chord with leading economists, who say the financial aid was excessive, even though it helped the job market roar back.
Inflation is showing signs of moderation but is likely to remain well above the Fed’s 2 percent target by the end of this year. Gas prices are expected to continue rising, especially now that the European Union has agreed to cut 90 percent of its oil purchases from Russia.
This would force the EU to buy more oil than anywhere else and would push oil prices to around $117 a barrel on Tuesday.
This is only the fourth meeting between the president and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, although Powell does have breakfast with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen once a week.