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The Governor of the Federal Reserve, Lael Brainardwon confirmation in the US Senate on Tuesday to be the next vice president of the central bank, the first of President Joe Biden’s four nominees to clear that hurdle.

The vote was 52-43, as several Republicans joined Democrats in meeting the 51-vote minimum for confirmation. It arrived a week before a key meeting of the fed in which she and her colleagues are expected to step up their battle against high inflation with a big hike in interest rates and a shrinking balance sheet.

Progress toward confirming a second Fed candidate, Lisa Cook of Michigan State University, appeared to be slowed Tuesday by Republican opposition and cases of Covid-19 among the Democrats who prevented them from voting.

On Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown tried to postpone a vote on Cook and move forward with two other Fed nominees who have bipartisan support, the central bank chairman, Jerome Powellnominated again to his current position, and Davidson College Dean of Faculty Philip Jefferson, who would fill a vacant Board seat.

At its monetary policy meeting next week, the Federal Reserve raise interest rates by half a percentage point and announce the start of the reduction of its gigantic balance sheet, while intensifying its fight against inflation, which reached a maximum not seen in 40 years.

Cook and Jefferson will likely join after that meeting, participating in the deliberations on what are expected to be interest rate hikes at each of the following meetings of the fed this year and at least in the first part of next.

Cook would be the first African-American on the Fed Board and Jefferson would be the fourth black man on the central bank in its more than 100-year history.

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