Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee are reportedly planning to boycott a meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to vote on President Joe Biden’s slate of candidates for the Federal Reserve, which includes Chairman Jerome Powell’s bid for a second term.
They are protesting the appointment of former Treasury and Fed official Sarah Bloom Raskin to the top job in US banking regulation after past comments by the former Obama administration official signaling a willingness to introduce fiscal rules to combat climate change raised concerns.
“Until the core issues are properly resolved, I don’t think the Committee should have a vote on Ms. Ruskin,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican leader on the commission.
The move could delay their consideration by the full Senate if all 12 GOP lawmakers on the 24-member committee fail to show up for the meeting, scheduled for 2:15 pm ET. Committee chairman Senator Sherrod Brown said the scheduled vote would go ahead anyway.
The Ohio Democrat said a Republican boycott could hurt the economy just a week after the latest inflation data showed consumer goods prices hit a 40-year high.
“If my colleagues are as worried about inflation as they say, they will not slow down this process, which will only harm workers, their families and our recovery,” Brown said in response to messages.
The appointment of Sarah Bloom Raskin to lead US banking regulation has sparked GOP concerns over her past comments about using financial rules to fight climate change and allegations that she improperly helped the fintech firm that hired her.
Senate Banking Committee lawmakers reportedly had to vote on five candidates for the Fed’s Board of Governors, including whether to recommend Powell for a second term.
While most Republicans in the group support a second term for Powell, the Republican originally appointed by former President Donald Trump as chairman of the Fed, they appear to be united in their objection to Ruskin’s appointment as central bank vice chairman for supervision.
Republicans have attacked Ruskin, who was Undersecretary of the Treasury under President Barack Obama, for her past comments about using fiscal rules to control climate change.
They also accused her of improperly lobbying for the interests of a fintech firm she served on the board of, accusations which Raskin denied.
After serving at the Fed under Obama, Raskin took a seat on the board of directors of the financial technology company Reserve Trust. The firm was reportedly seeking a master account with the Fed that would allow it to operate in developing countries without being linked to a conventional bank.
Reserve Trust became the first fintech company to receive such approval shortly after Raskin joined the board of directors.
Banking ratings committee member Pat Toomey (left) said all 12 Republicans in the group would boycott the caucus, while Chairman Sherrod Brown (right) said it would go ahead anyway.
Toomey detailed that Raskin tipped the company’s balance, which she denied, in written questions submitted after last week’s hearing.
“It remains puzzling how the Reserve Trust got this account when other institutions were denied access, leading one bank to file a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York over the issue. However, the Reserve Trust’s application was quietly granted during the review of this lawsuit,” Toomey said.
He cited documents that say Raskin told Senate Banking Committee officials in late January that she had no idea why the Reserve Trust needed a master account.
“This statement is bewildering given how heavily the Reserve Trust and its investors advertise the value of the company’s master account with the Fed, and that you served on the company’s board of directors when the master account application was rejected but later approved,” Toomey said.
Before news of the boycott broke, many expected the committee vote on Ruskin to deadlock 12-12.
This will not end her nomination, but will complicate and potentially delay her path to full Senate confirmation, where such votes require a simple majority.
Given the associated banking group, Ruskin will likely need the support of all 50 Democratic senators, including moderates Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema, who opposed other aspects of Biden’s political agenda.
Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan is also recovering from a recent stroke that could further slow down deadlines in the event of a committee deadlock.
Brown said a Republican-led boycott could hurt the economy just a week after the latest inflation data showed consumer goods prices hit a 40-year high.
Over the weekend, Luhan said he would return to the Senate in a few weeks.
“The Sarah Bloom Raskin nomination is facing the toughest headwinds of the five Fed candidates and it will come down to a handful of centrist voters, but we think the chances of confirmation right now are slightly better than a coin toss,” said Isaac Boltansky, director . political research for the brokerage company BTIG.
Ruskin is married to Democratic Rep. Jamie Ruskin of Maryland.
The committee will also vote on three other candidates for Fed seats along with Ruskin and Powell: current Fed Governor Lael Brainard and proposed newcomers Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson.
Brainard, a Democrat who was named Fed Governor by Obama in 2014, is also likely to be backed by a promotion to vice chair, making her Powell’s deputy despite Republican fears that she will push for the central bank to strengthen its position. . climate change policy.
Cook is an economist at Michigan State University, and Jefferson is an economist and current faculty dean at Davidson College in North Carolina.