Federal Reserve

Senate Banking Committee votes to recommend Jerome Powell for confirmation as Federal Reserve chair

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved Fed Governor Jerome Powell to take over as chair of the central bank.

Powell's nomination now goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

President Donald Trump nominated Powell in October to take over when current Chair Janet Yellen's term expires in February. During his confirmation hearing in November, Powell, 64, said the current policy of gradually rising interest rates and a decrease in the Fed's balance sheet likely would continue to be appropriate.

While other Trump nominees have garnered substantial Democratic opposition, Powell sailed through. Only Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Massachusetts] voted against.

Warren grilled Powell on banking regulations as the nominee said he thought current banking regulations were "tough enough."

Powell differs from most other Fed chairs in that he is not an economist by training. He has extensive experience in investment banking and as a lawyer, and has served with the central bank since 2012.

Yellen has indicated she will leave the Fed after Powell is sworn in, though her term as governor does not end until 2024.

The vote comes as Trump has the opportunity to shape the Fed in a significant way. In addition to Yellen leaving, there are three other vacancies on the seven-member board of governors. Trump has nominate Carnegie Mellon economics professor Marvin Goodfriend to fill one of the positions.

One of those positions is vice chair, which Stanley Fischer exited in October. Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, has been rumored as a nominee for that post.

In addition to those vacancies, New York Fed President William Dudley has said he also will retire in mid-2018. That position will be filled internally, and a search is ongoing.