Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy grilled Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision, over her past comments regarding the oil and gas industry during a Thursday confirmation hearing.
Kennedy took issue with Raskin’s New York Times opinion piece from May 2020, in which she argued against the Federal Reserve’s support for the oil and gas industry despite the financial hardships caused to companies by the pandemic.
“May 2020. World economy is melting down, because government shut it down. We’re trying to hold it together with bailing wire, duct tape, spit and happy thoughts. And you say, ‘that’s great, but we ought to let oil and gas companies go broke,'” the senator said. “Did you really mean that?”
The president’s nominee said in response that she believed the Fed’s role to be not the one of picking “winners and losers.”
“The Fed should not pick or favor any sector at all,” Raskin added. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Know Whether To Call You Professor Or Comrade’: John Kennedy Grills Biden’s ‘Marxist’ Nominee)
“Then why did you say it?” Kennedy pressed further. “Why did you recommend to them that they let oil and gas go broke?”
Raskin then pushed back against the senator’s accusations, stating that the op-ed was written in the context of the regulatory body’s “special program” and was not meant as a general instruction.
Kennedy told Raskin that he would respect her more, had she admitted to having such views.
“Look, this is America. You can believe what you want, and I mean that. But I don’t agree with your mission to politicize the Federal Reserve,” the senator added.
“I don’t think the Federal Reserve should be politicized, either,” Ruskin responded.
The Republican lawmaker then quoted Ruskin’s June 2020 op-ed which made the case for the federal regulatory bodies to “allocate capital.”
A coalition of financial officers from 25 states sent Biden a letter Monday, announcing their opposition to the nomination of Ruskin, who they said would jeopardize the nation’s financial and economic stability to achieve her “preferred social outcomes.”