Questioning John McCain’s heroism. Musing about nuking someone just because. Admitting to sexual assault on tape. Siding with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies. Threatening to fire Jeff Sessions. Threatening to fire Robert Mueller. All of these things have come out of the mouth of the president of the United States, and Congressional Republicans have responded to all of them with, at best, threats of their own that they quickly walked back, and usually shrugs before giddily toasting their success in the only two things they really care about: cutting taxes and building a Supreme Court that will do what they can’t to reinstate the 1950s. None of the quite possibly countless lies or effective admission of guilt to a host of felonies or dangerously erratic behavior exhibited by Donald J. Trump has led to much of a peep from Capitol Hill. But Jay Powell thinks he’s finally found the red line, and his naiveté is precious.
In his first six months in office, he’s met or called lawmakers 48 times. Twenty-one of those contacts were with Democrats and 27 with Republicans. By contrast, his Democratic predecessor, Janet Yellen, had just 17 contacts with lawmakers, 13 of them with Democrats, in her first six months in the job. Powell has ordered his eight-person congressional-liaison staff to redouble its efforts to reach out to both sides of the aisle.
Powell had told radio show "Marketplace" that he was going to "wear the carpets of Capitol Hill" by walking the halls and meeting with members." Making allies in Congress could be seen as a way to protect the Fed's freedom when it comes to monetary policy.
He probably really believes it, too.
The Fight to Protect the Fed From Trump’s Rate-Hike Barbs [Bloomberg]
Jay Powell reportedly ramps up meetings with lawmakers as he seeks to protect the Fed’s independence [CNBC]
Earlier: Jay Powell Says That’s Just, Like, The President’s Opinion, Man; Jay Powell No Longer Wondering If He’s Made A Huge Career Mistake; The Fed Is Learning What Being Donald Trump’s Ex-Girlfriend Feels Like