— -- In an appearance before a top congressional economic committee today, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen defended the Dodd-Frank Act and pledged to serve out her term despite criticism from Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.
The Dodd-Frank Act was passed into law in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis and is believed to be an early target for modification or repeal by the incoming Trump administration, with the transition website pledging to “dismantle” the legislation, which proposed sweeping changes to the regulation of the financial industry.
Asked about the act, Yellen, the United States’ top monetary official, who is notoriously careful with her words, said that she “certainly would not want to see all the improvements that we have put in place -- I would not want to see the clock turned back on those, because I do think they’re important in diminishing the odds of another financial crisis.”
"We lived through a devastating financial crisis. And a high priority, I think, for all Americans should be that we want to see put in place safeguards through supervision and regulation that result in a safer and sounder financial system," she said.
At various points during the campaign, Trump took aim at Yellen and her actions while at the top of the Federal Reserve.
In September, Trump told CNBC that the chairwoman was keeping interest rates low in an effort to boost the stock market and burnish the appearance of Obama’s economic record.
The interest rate is "staying at zero because she's obviously political and she's doing what Obama wants her to do," Trump said in the Sept. 13 interview with CNBC.
In response, while not mentioning Trump by name, Yellen told a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee's September meeting that, “I can say emphatically that partisan politics plays no role in our decisions about the appropriate stance of monetary policy."
Despite the public war of words, Yellen pledged today to serve out the rest of her term.
“I was confirmed by the Senate to a four-year term, which ends at the end of January of 2018, and it is fully my intention to serve out that term,” she said when asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., whether she envisioned “any circumstances” where she would not serve out her term.
But what if President-elect Trump and Yellen don’t get along? Could Trump tell her, “You’re fired!” when he takes office?
No. Once appointed, Federal Reserve Board Governors “may not be removed from office for their policy views,” according to the institution’s website.