The United States Senate on May 10 confirmed Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, making her the first Black woman to serve on the panel in its 108-year history.
The Senate confirmed Cook in a 51-50 party-line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
All Republicans opposed Cook as several complained that she was not qualified for the position despite holding a doctorate degree in economics, being a professor at Michigan State University, and conducting research on economic development and innovation.
“Professor Cook has no proven expertise in monetary economics at all, much less fighting inflation,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said before the vote, according to CNN.
“Professor Cook is a proven partisan who has promoted left-wing conspiracy theories and called for a fellow academic to be fired because that person did not support defunding the police,” McConnell further said.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey claimed that Cook had a “glaring” lack of monetary policy experience and had a history of “extreme” left-wing political advocacy and “hostility” toward opposing perspectives.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown defended Cook, saying that she was “unquestionably qualified and possesses bipartisan support from top economists, former Fed governors, bankers, and civil rights organizations.”
“She will bring a critical voice to the Fed — one that has been missing for far too long,” Brown further said.
During the confirmation hearing, Cook said that she will bring “diverse perspectives” to the panel to fight inflation and keep unemployment low.
Cook will join the board at a time when the central bank attempts to rein in inflation.
Cook previously served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under former President Barack Obama and was a member of the transition team for President Joe Biden.
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