The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee stood by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell after President Donald Trump said he “maybe” regrets appointing Powell because the Fed has raised interest rates.
Asked whether Powell and the Fed are doing a good job, Orrin Hatch said Wednesday in Washington: “I think so. I think they all are, to be honest with you. I don’t agree with everything they do but they are still pretty good people.”
Hatch, of Utah, stood by the Fed’s independence.
“They have a right to act the way do,” Hatch said.
Almost a year since nominating Powell to the post, Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview Tuesday that he was intentionally sending a direct message that he wanted lower interest rates, even as he acknowledged that the central bank is an independent entity. Trump demurred when asked under what circumstances he would fire the central bank chief.
Trump said in the interview that Powell “almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates” and that it’s “too early to tell, but maybe” he regrets appointing him.
Powell has so far brushed off the attacks, noting the Fed is independent and arguing that by raising rates gradually it’s just seeking to normalize monetary policy in an “extraordinary” economy.