President Biden is closing in on a decision on who should run the Federal Reserve, and both Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell and Fed governor Lael Brainard, the only Democrat on the central bank’s board, were spotted at the White House on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter confirmed Friday.

The president has not made a decision but expects to soon, according to a source familiar with the process. It wasn’t clear if Powell or Brainard met directly with the president.

Powell’s term as chair is up in February. The Fed declined to comment.

The position of chairman is among the most influential policymaking roles in the world, particularly given the Fed’s vast involvement in rescuing the U.S. economy during the covid-19 crisis.

Powell, a Republican who was appointed Fed chair by President Donald Trump, has garnered widespread praise across Washington for his leadership. And, despite the Fed’s unique independence from politics, Powell’s views have largely aligned with the Biden administration’s when it comes to crucial issues like government stimulus, inflation and the still-healing job market.

However, progressive groups have also been urging Biden to elevate Brainard to the top spot. She has been a key critic over the years of easing rules for large banks and Wall Street.

In addition to the pick for chairman, the administration has yet to announce nominees for as many as four positions on the Fed board. During a Tuesday news conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Biden said he had “been meeting with economic advisers on what the best choices are. We’ve got a lot of good choices, but I’m not going to speculate now.”

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told CNBC this week that Powell “has certainly done a good job.”

“He responded very admirably to the crisis that we saw after the pandemic, and he’s established with his colleagues a new framework that is very focused on achieving full employment,” Yellen said.

Policymakers, economists and the markets have been eagerly awaiting news on Biden’s Fed nominations, and questions about the Fed’s future leadership have loomed over the central bank.

The Fed board has been operating without its top banking cop. There is also one vacant seat on the Fed board. In January, Biden can also install a new overall vice chair.

For months, people close to the Fed and the White House have cited an ongoing list of crises and legislative pushes that have delayed the White House’s nomination process. But the administration appears to be nearing a decision. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal first reported that Powell had been seen visiting the White House.

Powell routinely declines to weigh in on whether he wants to stay on as Fed chair. During a Wednesday news conference, he said, “I’m not going to have any comment whatsoever on the renomination process at all.”

Much of the anticipation stems from the fact that Biden’s picks for the Fed are seen as an extension — and test — of his economic agenda. Powell’s critics on the left say that he has not been forceful enough on climate change and its threat to the financial system. They also argue that under Powell’s leadership, the Fed has gradually eased restrictions placed on Wall Street after the Great Recession. Others simply believe Biden should tap a Democrat to lead the Fed.

In September, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) became the first senator to come out against a second term for Powell. Pointing to his views on banking regulation, Warren told Powell during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that “your record gives me grave concern, and that makes you a dangerous man to head up the Fed.”

Brainard’s portfolio has focused on climate change and its threat to financial stability, along with the modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act. She has also voted against banking deregulation and become a champion of tight oversight of Wall Street. Last year, Powell brought Brainard into the Fed’s inner circle that shapes the monetary policy agenda — a group traditionally confined to the Fed’s chair and vice chair and the New York Fed president. (Brainard had also been a top contender to become Biden’s treasury secretary.)

One person familiar with the administration’s thinking said Brainard could be elevated to be the Fed’s top banking cop, in a move that would also assuage progressives concerned about Powell’s regulatory record. Powell has said he would defer to whoever is in that role to steer the Fed’s supervisory and regulatory agenda, as he has under Republicans and Democrats alike.

The Fed is independent from the White House and stakes its reputation on a separation from politics. Yet on monetary policy, Powell and the Biden administration have often been aligned, especially when it comes to the economic response to the covid crisis.

Powell consistently urged Congress not to pull back on stimulus too soon, emphasizing that lawmakers could target some of the most vulnerable pockets of the economy in ways the Fed could not. Earlier in the year, Powell also waved off concerns that a massive stimulus package would over-torque the economy and spur inflation, instead sending the message that the job market had a long way to go in healing before the Fed would intervene to cool down the economy.

More recently, though, inflation has climbed to 13-year highs, with price increases sticking around longer than policymakers at the Fed or the White House anticipated. Still, Powell and White House officials have returned to the same message — that inflation won’t be permanent, though prices will remain high until global supply chains have time to clear their backlogs, likely stretching into 2022.

Meanwhile, inflation has become a political flash point in Washington and a strain on the pocketbooks of households nationwide. Republicans have criticized Powell and the Fed for not doing more to combat inflation, saying the Fed risks being behind the curve once it decides to step in and raise rates.

For now, the Fed is starting to wind back its pandemic-era stimulus. At the conclusion of its policy meeting this week, the Fed said it would start reducing its vast bond-buying program, with the expectation that its asset purchases would be fully wound down by the middle of next year. That could position the Fed to raise rates later in 2022.