Powell says he won’t leave Fed even if Trump fires him

by Ryan Smith12 Jul 2019

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress this week that he would not resign even if President Donald Trump asked him to.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Powell for raising interest rates, at one point last year even saying that the Fed had “gone crazy” amid expectations of a rate hike. The tension has led some to expect that Trump might try to fire Powell.

But Powell told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday that he had no intention of leaving, according to a Fox Business report. Asked by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the chair of the committee, if he would leave if Trump tried to fire him, Powell said, “Of course I would not do that.”

“My answer would be no,” he said.

“You would not pack up and you would not leave?” Waters asked.

“No, ma’am,” Powell said.

“Because the president doesn’t have the authority?” Waters said.

“I’ve said what I’ve intended to say on the subject,” Powell said. “And what I’ve said is the law clearly gives me a four-year term, and I intend to serve it.”

Trump has not been shy about blaming the Fed for economic problems. Last week, he called the central bank the “most difficult problem” facing the country.

“They raised rates too soon, too often, & tightened, while others did just the opposite,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “As well as we are doing from the day after the great Election, when the Market shot right up, it could have been even better – massive additional wealth would have been created, & used very well. Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!”