US Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), a leading member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, emphasized today during a hearing titled “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress” with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the importance of ensuring Latino representation on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
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Several of the senator’s colleagues echoed his point about the importance of having Latino representation on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Senator Menéndez also asked Chairman Powell about the catastrophic effects that a possible debt default would have on the national economy.
“Mr. President, I want to take this moment to remind my colleagues that there are more than 62 million Latinos who call the United States home. We are the largest minority group in the country. We represent nearly 20 percent of the American population and contribute nearly $3 trillion to GDP,” said Senator Menendez.
“However, Latinos are not represented in the leadership of the Federal Reserve. In the 109-year history of the Federal Reserve, there has never been a single member of the Board of Governors or president of the regional bank who has had the experience of being Latino in the United States.
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The senator noted that by not having a seat in the top leadership of the Federal Reserve, Latinos are repeatedly ignored when the Federal Reserve makes critical economic policy decisions that can affect whether a Latino family can afford their first home, find a job pay a living wage, save for a comfortable retirement, or get a loan to expand your business.
“Right now, the Biden administration has a clear opportunity to make history with its upcoming Board of Governors nomination. He has identified several highly qualified Latino candidates who have dedicated their careers to the field of economics, who are committed to the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve and who will preserve the independence of the central bank”, added the senator.
“The administration has successfully proposed and defended several diverse candidates with similar qualifications, both at the Federal Reserve and elsewhere. But despite having five opportunities in the past two years to nominate a qualified Latino economist to serve at the Federal Reserve, this administration has repeatedly chosen not to. Representation, or the lack of it, does not happen by accident. It’s a choice. And I hope the administration makes the right choice with this nomination.”
Senator Menéndez has long been an advocate of the fight for greater diversity in the financial services industry, among financial regulators and, in particular, in the Federal Reserve. A few weeks ago, the senator led thirty-three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus calling on President Joe Biden.
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