Next month, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Janet Yellen to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve.
Previewing Yellen’s nomination as Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board In 2010, the Heritage Foundation’s J.D. Foster wrote:
“Perhaps least surprising and most disconcerting, the three appointments together [of which Yellen was one] suggest a new bloc of votes on the policy setting Federal Open Market Committee for dovish monetary policies, i.e. those less concerned with containing inflation than reducing unemployment. As discussed elsewhere, though Chairman Bernanke has expressed a very credible intent to resist a return to higher inflation, his own remarks and those of other Fed officials already provide grounds for worry that they may, once again, be late in heading off trouble. With a new flock of doves winging their way to the Fed, inflation worries have only gotten worse.”
Additionally, there is growing concern that the Federal Reserve’s expanded role in the aftermath of the financial crisis and enactment of Dodd-Frank are causing it to become more political. According to Heritage, “a more politicized Fed threatens to destroy what is left of that image and place partisan concerns above sound monetary policy.” During her confirmation hearing, Yellen promised to use the Fed’s expanded powers to “level the playing field” between large banks and small and to “make it tougher for them to compete.” Heritage has warned against a process that “gives nearly unconstrained discretion to regulators” and instead suggested “a modified version of existing bankruptcy law, with the legal protections and independent judges it provides.”
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Tom PriceHouse Republican Average87%
and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Orrin HatchSenate Republican Average60%
introduced the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 3485 / S.1712), which would protect workers from union pressure by putting power in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members. As the Heritage Foundation notes
, if union bosses “were angels, such changes would be unnecessary” but “since they are not
” new protections are necessary.
Next week, the Senate will consider the so-called
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S. 815
), which would create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would make it illegal for organizations with 15 or more employees to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual … because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.” Employers should respect the intrinsic dignity of all their employees, but ENDA is bad public policy
The legislation would severely undermine civil liberties, increase government interference in the labor market, and trample on religious liberty. It is flawed public policy based in part on the tenuously defined term “gender identity,” which is commonly understood to be subjective, self-disclosed, and self-defined. The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson explains the policies in ENDA would be “backed up by coercive enforcement.”
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Melvin WattHouse Democrat Average20%
to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Watt has long been a proponent of increased government intervention in housing. Heritage notes, “Watt has a 20-year record of supporting big government housing policies (ranging from home foreclosure assistance programs to down payment requirements on federally insured home mortgages).”