Politics

Manchin Sinks Biden Federal Reserve Nominee Who Drew Republican Boycott

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will oppose President Joe Biden’s nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, ending a standoff over the Obama Treasury Department official’s status.

Bloom Raskin, the wife of Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, is an advocate for using the Federal Reserve to promote green energy policy, which would mark a dramatic departure from the central banking system’s dual mandate of maintaining maximum employment and keeping inflation in check. The Biden administration promoted Bloom Raskin’s nomination as contributing to “bring long overdue diversity” at the Federal Reserve. She has also served as a Duke University law professor and on the board of a major financial services provider.

“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. I have carefully reviewed Sarah Bloom Raskin’s qualifications and previous public statements. Her previous public statements have 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,” Manchin said in a statement.

“The time has come for the Federal Reserve Board to return to its defining principles and dual mandate of controlling inflation by ensuring stable prices and maximum employment.” (RELATED: Republicans Attack ‘Climate Warrior’ Biden Nominee Who Wants To Reimagine Economy)

Republicans boycotted votes to confirm four other nominees to the Federal Reserve board, including chairman Jerome Powell, over the inclusion of Bloom Raskin in the Senate Banking Committee’s slate of nominees. Due to the 50-50 split in the Senate, the boycott denied Democrats the quorum needed to advance the nominees. Powell has continued to serve as chairman pro tempore of the Federal Reserve board.

In addition to concerns over Bloom Raskin’s support for expanding the Federal Reserve’s mandate, some Republicans alleged that she used her government connections to help her then-employer, Reserve Trust, gain favorable regulatory treatment. Reserve Trust became the first financial services provider to receive access to the Federal Reserve’s master account, which allows it to bypass banks when conducting transactions.

“A Fed master account gives Reserve Trust an enormous advantage over everybody else since it appears they’re the only one who has it,” Republican Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis said during Bloom Raskin’s confirmation hearing.

Manchin has opposed several Biden nominees, most notably Neera Tanden, slated to head the Office of Management and Budget, and Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Robert Califf.

The Biden administration was forced to withdraw the nominations of several far-left candidates, including Cornell University Law School professor Saule Omarova and former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent David Chipman, in the face of bipartisan opposition.