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Federal Reserve Pick Raskin Withdraws Nomination

March 15, 2022 by Dan McCue
Federal Reserve Pick Raskin Withdraws Nomination
Sarah Bloom Raskin, a nominee to be the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors vice chair for supervision, speaks during the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Feb. 3, 2022, in Washington. (Ken Cedeno/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s pick for a position on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, withdrew her nomination Tuesday, one day after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joined all Senate Republicans in opposing her confirmation.

In a statement released on Monday, Manchin said, “Now more than ever, the United States must have policy leaders and economic experts who are focused on the most pressing issues facing the American people and our nation — specifically rising inflation and energy costs.”

He said after carefully reviewing her qualifications and previous public statements, they “failed to satisfactorily address my concerns about the critical importance of financing an all-of-the-above energy policy to meet our nation’s critical energy needs.” 

Senate Republicans have argued that Raskin would use the Fed’s regulatory authority to discourage banks from lending to oil and gas companies.

Manchin suggested he believed Raskin would “politicize … critical decisions.”

“This is a 10-year term to perhaps the most important independent body that is tasked with ensuring the stability of the American economy,” he said. “At this historic moment for both the U.S. and the world at large, it is imperative the Federal Reserve Board preserves its independence and steers clear of any hint of partisanship.”

Manchin’s sentiments were echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Tuesday morning when he took to the Senate floor to denounce Raskin for allegedly calling for the Federal Reserve “to go about picking winners and losers in accord with liberal ideological goals unrelated to the Fed’s core duties.”

“The far left cheered Ms. Raskin’s nomination for the same reason that senators from both parties oppose it,” McConnell said. “She wants to take radical policy aims that liberals can’t achieve through Congress and hardwire them directly into our financial system instead.

“President Biden was literally asking for senators to support a central banker who wanted to usurp the Senate’s policymaking power for herself,” he continued. “Ms. Raskin would have been a vice chair who sought to raise gas prices, raise home heating costs and undermine the very institution of the Federal Reserve in the process.

“It is not surprising there is bipartisan Senate opposition to such a radical nominee,” he added.

Democrats, as well as many banking executives, argued that Raskin’s views aren’t out of the mainstream and said she simply wants the Fed to consider the risks that climate change poses to banks, insurance companies and other financial firms.

President Joe Biden, who nominated Raskin in January, said she had “unparalleled experience pursuing solutions” in areas like cybersecurity, climate change and consumer protection.

“Sarah’s nomination had broad support — from the banking and financial services community, former members of the Board of Governors, multiple Nobel Prize winners, consumer advocates and respected economists from around the country,” the president said. “That experience and support are among the many reasons why I nominated Sarah to be the vice chair for supervision, a critical role in regulating our nation’s financial institutions.

“Despite her readiness — and despite having been confirmed by the Senate with broad, bipartisan support twice in the past — Sarah was subject[ed] to baseless attacks from industry and conservative interest groups,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are more focused on amplifying these false claims and protecting special interests than taking important steps toward addressing inflation and lowering costs for the American people,” Biden said.

He went on to urge the Senate Banking Committee to move swiftly to confirm the four eminently qualified nominees for the Board of Governors — Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard, Philip Jefferson and Lisa Cook — who are still waiting for an up-or-down vote.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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