AC JosepH Media
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today delivered remarks on the Senate floor in advance of Dr. Adriana Kugler’s historic confirmation to the Fed Board of Governors.
Kugler, a highly qualified economist and the first Hispanic-American ever nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, was confirmed by a vote of 53-45.
“Mr. President, it is time for Latinos to serve at the highest levels of the Federal Reserve. It is time for Latinos to be taken seriously as an essential part of our American family. And it is time for us to confirm Dr. Adriana Kugler as a meaningful step towards that goal,”said Sen. Menendez before voting in support of Dr. Kugler’s confirmation.
“At its core, it’s about changing the face of leadership so that our institutions, these bodies that we entrust with the future wealth and prosperity of our country, can fully reflect the nation that they serve,” added Sen. Menendez. “In no uncertain terms, Dr. Kugler is a remarkable economist and a fantastic nominee to serve as the first Latina on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. I am proud to have championed her historic nomination.”
President Biden nominated Kugler after years of Sen. Menendez advocating for a Latino or Latina to be nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
With Kugler’s confirmation, a new chapter will begin at the Federal Reserve, which for nearly 110 years has never had Latinos or Latinas in the upper echelons of its leadership.
Kugler’s confirmation finally gives the more than 62 million Latinos, who contribute nearly $3 trillion to the national economy, a voice at the institution that makes the most consequential decisions about monetary policy.
Below are Senator Menendez’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, every so often, this chamber is granted an opportunity to alter the course of American history.
These rare opportunities allow us to pick up the torch hoist it high like those who came before and carry it forward as we strive to create a more perfect union.
Today, Mr. President, we have such an opportunity.
In a few moments, this body will consider the nomination of a preeminent economist, Dr. Adriana Kugler, to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
Already, she has broken barriers and blazed new trails — the first Hispanic American ever nominated to serve in that critical role.
But for my colleagues who will soon cast their votes on her nomination I’d just like to highlight what this means for the 62 million Latinos who call America home.
Simply put, we see ourselves reflected in her story and her nomination.
Dr. Kugler is a first generation-American — the daughter of immigrants from Colombia.
To hear her tell her story is to listen to the American Dream come to life.
From her grandparents who overcame tremendous obstacles whether it was fleeing religious persecution being orphaned at the age of 3 or dropping out of high school to help a widowed mother raise 5 siblings Dr. Kugler’s family instilled in her the importance of grit and resilience alongside an unwavering work ethic.
As a result, her life’s work has been to help others similarly rise above their station.
For more than 25 years as an economist, she has conducted essential research on labor markets, worker mobility, and firm productivity — three areas that are essential to the Federal Reserve’s mandate.
She currently serves as U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank after previously serving as chief economist at the Department of Labor bringing a domestic AND international perspective at a time when global economies have never been more connected.
And because of this work, because of her sterling credentials and outstanding reputation Dr. Kugler’s nomination has earned the endorsement of THIRTY-THREE peer economists from across the political spectrum.
In a joint letter, they called her “a brilliant, objective economist who takes an evidence-based approach to decision-making and is an expert in policy evaluation.”
Make no mistake, Dr. Kugler is eminently qualified for the role she’s been nominated for.
At her confirmation hearing, she reaffirmed a fundamental commitment to the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate pledging to continue its efforts to bring down high inflation that is hurting workers and businesses alike.
In addition to her qualifications and balanced approach to decision-making, Dr. Kugler has demonstrated time and time again that she will uphold the Federal Reserve’s long legacy of independent decision-making.
And it is precisely because those decisions affect every community in our country that I am especially proud that Dr. Kugler will finally bring the lived experience of being Latino to the Federal Reserve’s leadership.
In the nearly 110-year history of the Federal Reserve, there has never been a Latino serving on its Board of Governors.
Simply put, it’s an affront to the 62 million Hispanic Americans who meaningfully contribute to our economy.
It’s out of step with the fact that our economic output is nearly $3 trillion dollars.
And it violates the idea that the hopes and dreams of Latinos are essential to the promise of America.
Mr. President, it is time for Latinos to serve at the highest levels of the Federal Reserve.
It is time for Latinos to be taken seriously as an essential part of our American family.
And it is time for us to confirm Dr. Adriana Kugler as a meaningful step towards that goal.
Never again should a Latino or Latina have to wonder if they can rise from humble beginnings to occupy seats of power.
Today’s vote helps us do just that.
At its core, it’s about changing the face of leadership so that our institutions these bodies that we entrust with the future wealth and prosperity of our country can fully reflect the nation that they serve.
In no uncertain terms, Dr. Kugler is a remarkable economist and a fantastic nominee to serve as the first Latina on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
I am proud to have championed her historic nomination.
And now, it is time that we turn it into a historic confirmation.
Thank you and I yield the floor.
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