Sen. Rick Scott to Powell & Brainard: Federal Reserve Must Show Independence in Fighting Inflation

January 21, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Governor Lael Brainard expressing his grave concerns with the Federal Reserve’s approach to the greatest economic challenges facing America, which have had disastrous impacts on hardworking families. Since President Biden took office, the Federal Reserve has failed to show independent leadership to mitigate the harmful impacts of record-breaking inflation and continues to manipulate markets with huge Treasury bond purchases. In prior meetings and letters, Senator Scott has clearly communicated these concerns to Chair Powell and continues to oppose his re-nomination, as well as the nomination of Governor Brainard to serve as Vice Chair, until the Federal Reserve shows it’s fighting for American families.


Read the letter to Governor Brainard HERE or the letter to Chair Powell HERE and below.


January 21, 2022



The Honorable Jerome Powell


Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

20th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20551


Dear Chair Powell,


Today, our nation is dealing with multiple historic challenges, including a global pandemic, skyrocketing inflation, supply chain and workforce challenges and a historic rise in federal debt. I appreciate the opportunity we had to meet earlier this year regarding your nomination. As you know, I have strongly disagreed with many of the Federal Reserve’s actions and its general approach to many of the greatest economic challenges facing America, which have had disastrous impacts on hardworking families.


Throughout the past year, the Federal Reserve has completely ignored repeated calls from myself and others to shift its strategy and begin aggressively fighting the raging inflation crisis caused by President Biden’s agenda of reckless federal spending. As prices have climbed, and inflation has reached a 40-year high, the Federal Reserve has continued its policy of purchasing $120 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities each month.


The steps taken by the Federal Reserve over the course of the last 12 months have been utterly shocking and beg the question of whether, under your leadership, this critical institution is able to steer America away from the policies that have led us to this moment and into an era of true fiscal strength.


As the Senate considers your nomination, I write to request your prompt response to the following questions:


1. The negative-real interest rate environment created by the Federal Reserve has distorted markets and punished those on fixed incomes for years. Now faced with historic and growing inflation, the Federal Reserve is on the precipice of policy change. If confirmed, how would you rein in inflation without hurting American families?


2. Many have argued that the Federal Reserve is significantly behind the curve in addressing the inflation crisis that has plagued our country for nearly a year. Yet, in your most recent economic forecasts, the Federal Open Market Committee’s median projection shows inflation falling to 2.3% by the end of the year.[1] Is this a realistic projection given the historically high inflation we’re experiencing, ongoing supply chain problems, and the tight labor market we face? How can the Federal Reserve achieve this rate of inflation without throwing our economy into a recession?


3. While ignoring persistent inflationary risks, the Federal Reserve has also radically increased its balance sheet to nearly $9 trillion, facilitating trillions of dollars in new government spending that has contributed to inflation.[2] In your opinion, how fast and in what manner should the Federal Reserve approach balance sheet normalization? Do you agree the Federal Reserve should sell off its assets, in addition to balance sheet runoff, in order to more quickly right-size its balance sheet? Would you support shrinking the balance sheet in lieu of additional rate increases?


4. There has been a lot of discussion and concern recently about the Federal Reserve’s integrity and independence. If confirmed, how would you better protect the integrity and legitimacy of the Federal Reserve as an institution?


Thank you again for your willingness to serve. I look forward to your timely response to my questions.





[1] Summary of Economic Projections, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), December 15, 2021.

[2] Recent balance sheet trends, Federal Reserve System, January 3, 2022.