Mr. Powell, 64, is a lawyer by training and an investment banker by trade, with deep roots in the financial industry and the Republican Party. Since joining the Fed, he has voted in favor of every policy decision — both monetary policy and regulatory policy — under the current Fed chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, and her predecessor, Ben S. Bernanke.
President Trump nominated Mr. Powell in early November to succeed Ms. Yellen, whose four-year term as Fed chairwoman ends in early February. The position is subject to Senate confirmation.
Mr. Trump said he was replacing Ms. Yellen because he wanted to appoint his own chairman. Mr. Powell in his opening statement pledged to resist any political pressure.
He added that he had no reason to anticipate such pressure from the White House. “Nothing in my conversations with anyone in the administration has given me any concern on that front,” he said. His plan, he said, is to make policy decisions “with a view solely to right answers.”
The confirmation hearing was a relatively placid affair, with only a third of the seats in the hearing room occupied. Both Mr. Bernanke in 2010 and Ms. Yellen in 2014 were confirmed during periods of economic turmoil and sharp controversy about the conduct of monetary and regulatory policy. As economic growth has strengthened, public interest in those subjects has dissipated.
Mr. Powell spent much of the hearing avoiding questions about fiscal policy, including tax legislation that