WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday
confirmed Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve's Board of
Governors, giving him a voice on the central bank's
policy-setting panel at a critical time in the nation's economic
Waller is the St. Louis Fed's research director and would be
the fifth pick of outgoing President Donald Trump for the Board
of Governors, whose members sit on the U.S. central bank's
The Fed cut interest rates to near zero as the coronavirus
spread in March and has promised to keep them there until the
labor market has healed and inflation has risen to its 2% goal.
The Fed is also supporting the economy by buying $120 billion in
Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities each month.
It is unclear if Waller will be sworn in before the central
bank's next policy meeting, which starts in 12 days and at which
policymakers will need to decide what, if any changes, they will
make to the Fed's asset purchase program.
Waller's current boss, St. Louis Fed President James
Bullard, is a big supporter of the central bank's current easy
policy, and is among its more bullish policymakers as far as the
Michelle Bowman, the most recent addition to the Fed's Board
of Governors, was sworn in 11 days after her confirmation vote.
Trump, who will be succeeded by President-elect Joe Biden on
Jan. 20, had also nominated his former economic adviser, Judy
Shelton, to the Fed board. But last month she failed to win
enough support from the Republican majority in the Senate to
move her confirmation forward, and no new vote has been
(Reporting by Ann Saphir and Richard Cowan
Editing by Paul Simao)