WASHINGTON — In less than three weeks, the Federal Reserve, which is widely credited with playing a major role in leading the United States out of the Great Recession, will be under new leadership. Current Fed chair Janet L. Yellen is leaving, and Jerome Powell is President Trump’s nominee to take her place. But Trump’s efforts to remake the Federal Reserve will soon face key tests.

The first hurdle will be the Senate. All of Trump’s appointees to the Fed require Senate approval, which has been slow in coming. Trump nominated Powell on Nov. 2, but the Senate didn’t act on his appointment before the end of the year, forcing the president to renominate Powell in 2018. Powell, a lawyer and former private equity executive, is generally well liked in Washington among Republicans and Democrats.

An aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there’s no way a full Senate vote will happen this week because of the firestorm over the budget and immigration. That leaves 10 Senate voting days to get him confirmed before Yellen exits, a tight timeline for the chamber.

Trump made his priorities clear for a Powell-led Fed: He wants the stock market to keep soaring and the economy to grow faster. To make that happen, Trump would like interest rates to stay low and fewer restrictions on Wall Street banks. But Powell has been clear to stress the Fed’s independence – from Congress and the White House – in public appearances.

“I’m strongly committed to an independent Federal Reserve,” he stressed several times during his confirmation hearing in late November

All decisions on interest rates and asset sales are made by committee. It includes seven Fed governors and five presidents of the regional Fed banks (this year it’s the presidents of the New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta and San Francisco banks).

The seven Fed governors are appointed by the president, but Trump, like Obama before him, has been slow to fill the openings. When Powell takes over, only three of the seven positions will be filled. And only two of them are Trump nominees: Powell and Randal Quarles, who is in charge of bank supervision. (The Senate also has to approve Quarles again by the end of January so he can continue serving as a Fed governor.)

This means the balance of power at the Fed will rest heavily on the regional Fed presidents – people Trump did not appoint and has no control over.

“The five bank presidents who vote will have the power,” says Richard Fischer, a former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “And bank presidents don’t mind dissenting.”

Regional Fed presidents have tended to be the more outspoken and contentious members of the Fed interest rate committee. They are the ones who typically vote “no” if there are disagreements, and there will be five of them vs. three Fed governors.