Senate Committee Advances Biden Nominee Who Once Said Gas Should Be More Expensive

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs voted Thursday to advance the Biden administration’s nomination of White House Economic Advisor Dr. Jared Bernstein to chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) at an executive session.

The committee advanced Bernstein’s nomination to be chairman of the CEA by a vote of 12-11 with all Democrats voting for it and all Republicans voting against it. Ranking Member and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said the economist does not meet the criteria for a nominee of “inspir[ing] confidence, hav[ing] strong respect for the rule of law and support[ing] policies that promote the American dream.”

Bernstein has supported “extreme progressive policy” such as the Green New Deal, the Biden administration’s decision to close down the Keystone XL Pipeline and a carbon tax, according to Scott.

“His largely partisan record of advocating for extreme progressive policy positions, including universal government-guaranteed jobs; universal government-run health care systems; higher taxes, including a carbon tax [and] a wealth tax; and the Green New Deal — deeply concern me,” Scott said.

Bernstein played a key role in economic messaging for the Biden administration’s increasing investment in infrastructure legislation, semiconductor production and environmental initiatives, according to Politico. (RELATED: ‘Yeah, That’s Just Factually Wrong’: Jared Bernstein, Neil Cavuto Spar Over Economy)

Scott noted that Bernstein wrote in 2019 that “fossil fuel costs should be higher.”

“I would imagine that the vast majority of Americans find themselves appalled, stunned, and frankly under the weight of inflation and higher gas prices,” Scott said.

CEA member Jared Bernstein answers a question about the economy during a briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 1, 2022. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Scott’s opposition to Bernstein was unprecedented, according to committee chair Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

“The Banking and Housing Committee has a tradition of members voting for the president’s pick to be chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, regardless of political party,” Brown said at the executive session.

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