Rep. David Kustoff was caught off guard when he received an unusual request for a meeting last year: Would he be interested in a one-on-one conversation with the chairman of the Federal Reserve?
Kustoff was a freshman congressman, just over a year into his term and a junior member of the Financial Services Committee. Jerome Powell had just been named head of the nation's central bank, turning him into one of the most powerful figures in the global economy. Yet Powell offered to trek across town to chat with Kustoff in the Tennessee Republican's office on Capitol Hill.
"I was pleasantly surprised because you don't see that very often," said Kustoff.
Their meeting on Feb. 7, 2018 — two days after Powell was sworn in — was just the first stop in the chairman's charm offensive on Capitol Hill. By law, the head of the central bank is only required to appear before Congress four times a year. The first two will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday, with formal testimony before committees in the House and Senate.
But behind the scenes, Powell has become a constant presence on the Hill, a CNBC analysis of his public calendars shows.