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house Bill H.R. 281

Should the Fed be Required to Interview Diverse Candidates for Federal Reserve Bank President Positions?

Argument in favor

The Federal Reserve has historically done a poor job of ensuring women and minorities serve in leadership positions in the organization. This bill would create accountability to ensure that the Fed interviews diverse candidates when bank president positions open up in the Regional Banks.

IllWill's Opinion
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09/10/2019
There are plenty of well-qualified women and minority candidates for Fed President that may never even get a chance to be interviewed because unfortunately there is still racial and gender prejudice in the way that people are hired. Forcing the Federal Reserve to interview a broader range of candidates will undoubtedly improve the diversity of their staff and their understanding of how their policies affect the average American.
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09/10/2019
Yes. Interview a diverse group of individuals for every position. It’s truly important.
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Juli's Opinion
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09/10/2019
All positions should require this, why should the fed be different. Only the highly qualified candidates will be considered, but there are plenty of qualified candidates who might not otherwise get the opportunity.
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Argument opposed

The Federal Reserve has made great progress on diversity and inclusion recently under the leadership of former Chairwoman Janet Yellen and current Chairman Jerome Powell. There’s no need to create additional, burdensome reporting requirements at the Fed when it’s already acting on this issue.

jimK's Opinion
···
09/10/2019
Leave the FED alone! I strongly support policies that ensure that diverse candidates are not excluded from full, fair evaluation of their abilities in selection processes- but I also feel that we must avoid added legislated oversight of Fed policies and procedures that can even be perceived as politicalization. It is enough for Congress to encourage the Fed to consider a diverse field of candidates and expand existing oversight audits. If any internal appointment made by the Fed is more exposed to legislated political oversight, appointments can be challenged and expose the Fed to crippling litigation- and reduce the world-wide trust that the Fed is fair and free from political influence; trust which must be maintained if our currency is to remain the de facto standard for international banking. The goals of this legislative proposal are honorable- but any additional political oversight into the Fed really opens the door to politicizing the Fed, and even the appearance that this may be happening must be avoided.
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Sean's Opinion
···
09/10/2019
Sure, let’s make the NBA more diverse by having more white players also. This idea is dumb and ineffective. You should hire people based off skill not ethnicity. Denying someone based off skin color alone is the definition of racism, yes, even if they’re white. This goes for all applicants for jobs, schools and sports. Having a minority “quota” is more divisive than it does good.
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JTJ's Opinion
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09/10/2019
More racist policies from the party of racism.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 281?

This bill — the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 — would require the Federal Reserve Bank to interview at least one candidate reflective of gender diversity and one candidate reflective of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing a new president. It would also require reserve banks to submit a report to the Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee, and the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve System detailing how many candidates were considered and their demographic information within 60 days of filling a vacancy for a presidency.

The bill would also amend numerous banking-, finance-, and trade-related laws to make references to officials gender-neutral (including those to the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System). Specifically, it would replace the term “Chairman” with “Chair.”

Impact

Federal Reserve; 12 Federal Reserve Regional Banks; vacancies for presidents of the Fed’s Regional Banks; Senate Banking Committee; House Financial Services Committee; Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve System; and gendered references to the “Chairman” of the Federal Reserve System.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 281

$0.00
The CBO estimates that this bill wouldn’t have any cost to implement because its interviewing requirements are already being substantially met and meeting the reporting requirements wouldn’t involve any additional costs for the Federal Reserve system.

More Information

In-DepthDiversity and Inclusion Subcommittee Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to require the Fed to interview diverse candidates when president positions open up at the Reserve:

“It is hard to believe that in 2018, in the Federal Reserve’s 105-year history, only one African-American has ever served as a Reserve Bank president and seven women have held the position. To build a stronger economy, we need the talents, skills and expertise that diversity offers—and the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act will do just that. I am proud to lead the charge in the House on this all-too important bill and am honored to have Senator Harris spearhead the companion piece of legislation in the U.S. Senate.”  

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion and a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, says:

“Bringing greater diversity to the Federal Reserve will ensure that more perspectives are heard as major decisions are being made about our nation’s economic future and will produce better outcomes for the American people. We must do more to ensure that this country’s leadership reflects the people they serve—not just at the Federal Reserve, but across all levels of government.”

This legislation passed the House Financial Services Committee by a 56-2 vote with the support of 38 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 36 Democrats and two Republicans. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), has four Democratic Senate cosponsors and hasn’t received a committee vote.

Last Congress, this bill had 13 Democratic House cosponsors. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Harris, had four Democratic Senate cosponsors. Neither bill received a committee vote last Congress. 


Of NoteSince its establishment in 1913, the Federal Reserve has had more than 130 different Regional Bank presidents. Of those presidents, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic is the first and only African-American to serve in that capacity. Moreover, eight of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks have never had a woman president, and the first woman to served as a Regional Bank President wasn’t selected until 1982.

This legislation is modeled after the National Football League’s (NFL) “Rooney Rule,” which was instituted in 2003 to increase diversity among top positions in the League. Under the Rooney Rule, at least one minority must be considered for any head coach or general manager vacancy. In the 12 years before the Rule went into effect, the NFL had only six non-white head coaches; under the Rule, the League has since had 18 total head coaches of color.

In January 2019, former Fed economist Nellie Liang withdrew her nomination for a seat on the Fed’s Board of Governors. She would have been the first Asian-American to serve on the Fed’s board, and only the 10th woman. 

Former Chairwoman Janet Yellen and current Chairman Jerome Powell have made great progress in diversifying the Federal Reserve, but Rep. Beatty argues that more needs to be done. In the House Financial Services Committee markup of this legislation, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) spoke in favor of this legislation and said that an equal playing field is an “imperative component” in building a successful workforce and attracting talent.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / YinYang)

AKA

Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Federal Reserve Act to require Federal Reserve banks to interview at least one individual reflective of gender diversity and one individual reflective of racial or ethnic diversity when appointing Federal Reserve bank presidents, and for other purposes.

    There are plenty of well-qualified women and minority candidates for Fed President that may never even get a chance to be interviewed because unfortunately there is still racial and gender prejudice in the way that people are hired. Forcing the Federal Reserve to interview a broader range of candidates will undoubtedly improve the diversity of their staff and their understanding of how their policies affect the average American.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    Leave the FED alone! I strongly support policies that ensure that diverse candidates are not excluded from full, fair evaluation of their abilities in selection processes- but I also feel that we must avoid added legislated oversight of Fed policies and procedures that can even be perceived as politicalization. It is enough for Congress to encourage the Fed to consider a diverse field of candidates and expand existing oversight audits. If any internal appointment made by the Fed is more exposed to legislated political oversight, appointments can be challenged and expose the Fed to crippling litigation- and reduce the world-wide trust that the Fed is fair and free from political influence; trust which must be maintained if our currency is to remain the de facto standard for international banking. The goals of this legislative proposal are honorable- but any additional political oversight into the Fed really opens the door to politicizing the Fed, and even the appearance that this may be happening must be avoided.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Sure, let’s make the NBA more diverse by having more white players also. This idea is dumb and ineffective. You should hire people based off skill not ethnicity. Denying someone based off skin color alone is the definition of racism, yes, even if they’re white. This goes for all applicants for jobs, schools and sports. Having a minority “quota” is more divisive than it does good.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Interview a diverse group of individuals for every position. It’s truly important.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    More racist policies from the party of racism.
    Like (8)
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    Share
    All positions should require this, why should the fed be different. Only the highly qualified candidates will be considered, but there are plenty of qualified candidates who might not otherwise get the opportunity.
    Like (8)
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    Hire the best candidate whom ever they are. This kind of diversity policy is racist.
    Like (7)
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    Next time your university, business, education board, or news panel touts their diversity in gender, race, or sexual identity, asked them if they have diversity of thought...as in do they have any conservative representation. I bet they are not as diverse as they claim and instead function within an echo chamber.
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    This may be a good method of dealing with the subconscious bias that most people possess.
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    Best person period
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    How about we just interview the best candidates, and stop worrying about idiocy like quotas and "diversity"? If the best candidate is part of "diversity", so be it, if not, then let the best candidate win.
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    I thought trump based positions on how badly they screwed the poor and how much money they made.
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    Should be based on how much knowledge you have not your race
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    People are just people some are men some women some are darker some lighter in color so lets put that aside and find out who would do the best job and go with that person. Why divide us all up.
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    Hiring should be basex on competency, not diversity.
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    Enough of this. Just put in the Best Person. People wanted a black president for a first time history making and we got the worst president ever. Did nothing for the blacks. He just filled his Pockets with our money.
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    The fed should stick to interviewing QUALIFIED candidates regardless of race, gender etc. rather than trying to fulfill some mandate for ‘diversity’, the very thing that is beginning to hurt our education system and government service positions where the color of one’s skin could take precedence over ability to do job.
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    Hiring should be based on skill not the color of our skin. Requiring hiring based on number of people of certain ethnicity or sex or gender preferences just as prejudiced as anything ever involving prejudice. I want to be hired because I’m considered the best for the job. Ethnicity and other such questions should be hidden from those choosing resumes and hiring questionnaire documents.
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    It’s time for questionable old white guys to give way to others in running this country.
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    Just pick the best person! No diversity picks! Just best person for the job!!
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