Former Treasury official gets nominated to Federal Reserve

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan |

Venus Manansala 

After his original pick for the Federal Reserve withdrew her contention for the seat, President Joe Biden nominated a new person to serve as the vice chair of supervision on the board of governors.

Biden originally nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve the position, which had been hard to fill as members of the bipartisan Senate struggled with coming to an agreement on voting on new Fed members.

The vice chair is responsible for developing monetary policy recommendations with the supervision and regulation of the Fed board. The person also does oversight of large bank-holding companies such as Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Raskin served as the deputy secretary of the Department of the Treasury, focusing on issues related to climate risk, cybersecurity and consumer protection in the financial marketplace. She also served as a governor of the board, where she helped conduct national monetary policy and financial stability. Biden described Raskin as one of the most qualified nominees for the position.

She withdrew her nomination due to Senate opposition to her strong position on fossil fuel reform. Raskin advised financial regulators to pay more attention to the financial risk posed by climate change. Republican senators from energy-rich states feared banks would stop lending to fossil fuel companies.

“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 in a statement.

The dissension of her nomination would delay the Senate from moving forward with voting on the other nominees. Raskin withdrew to avoid hindering their confirmations.

Biden nominated Michael Barr to succeed in the position. Barr served as an assistant treasury secretary for financial institutions under Barack Obama’s  administration. He also had a major role in the construction of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Senate confirmed Barr with bipartisan support.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who serves as the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, urged his Republican counterparts to “abandon their old playbook of personal attacks and demagoguery” as he set the reminder of a full Federal Reserve Board.

Biden also nominated current Fed Chair Jerome Powell to a second term. Academic economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson were also nominated to fill the remaining vacant positions of the board. These nominations await to be confirmed by the Senate.