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President Biden with Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard at a press conference Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There's a new era at the Fed: Jerome Powell will keep the top job, Lael Brainard will step up as No. 2 — with more fresh faces set to come.

Why it matters: Prices are rising at the fastest pace in 30 years with millions still out of work. What Biden's Fed picks do may be felt by everyday Americans.

Here's what to watch:

Inflation-jobs tango: Acting to tamp down inflation could test Powell and Brainard's top pursuit: a labor market so strong even marginalized workers reap the benefits.

Climate change: The Fed has stepped up considerations about the risks climate change poses to the economy — a charge largely led by Brainard.

  • Environmentalists see Powell as too slow to act on climate, but they're enthusiastic about Brainard's elevation, according to Axios Generate co-author Andrew Freedman.

Wall Street's rules: Some were loosened under the Fed's last bank cop. A nominee for that post (vacant since October), which helps shape policies for financial regulation, is weeks away.

  • Biden is facing pressure to put up someone who's tough on regulations. Brainard was not shy about wanting more requirements.
  • Taken together, it's a sign that top decision-makers will be tilted to a stronger hand.

Go deeper

The U.S. isn’t alone: Over 35 countries hit with inflation

Expand chart
Data: OECD, reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation in the U.S. has risen during the past two years at the third-fastest rate out of 46 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other economically significant countries.

The big picture: Rising prices aren’t just a problem in the United States. Thirty-nine of the countries analyzed by the Pew Research Center saw inflation increase between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of this year.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.