GOP boycotts vote of Biden Fed nominees as bank battles inflation

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Republican senators blocked votes on President BidenFDA’s pick of Joe BidenBiden clears key hurdle in Senate Overnight Healthcare – DC End Mask, Vaccine Mandates US Unity Key to Europe Whole and Free MORE‘s five Federal Reserve nominees on Tuesday, leaving the future of the central bank in question amid runaway inflation.

Each of the 12 Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a Tuesday meeting in which the panel was to vote on Biden’s five Fed nominees, as well as his pick to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) . Their refusal to attend the meeting meant the panel lacked a quorum, a sufficient number of senators present to hold a vote on the nominees in accordance with Senate rules.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell Brown’s stock ban faces significant hurdles despite growing support (D-Ohio), chairman of the banking panel, said he would delay votes until Republicans agree to consider nominating Sarah Bloom Raskin as the Fed’s chief regulatory officer along with the other four board picks. Biden’s Fed.

“Republicans fled the room in hiding rather than vote for a fair and experienced candidate,” Brown said Tuesday in remarks before a brief meeting attended exclusively by Democrats.

“I urge my fellow Republicans to come back to the table and vote their conscience. Let them vote ‘no’ if that’s what they believe, but get them to vote and let the Senate do its solemn duties,” he said before announcing the postponement.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph Toomey Late Night Reports Suggest the CIA is Collecting More Data on Americans Conservatives Are Outraged That Sarah Bloom Raskin Actually Believes in Capitalism Meet Washington’s Most Ineffective Senator: Joe Manchin MORE (Pennsylvania), the top Republican on the banking panel, said tuesday morning he and his GOP colleagues would block the vote on Biden’s five Fed nominees because Democrats refused to remove Raskin from Tuesday’s slate.

In a Tuesday statement announcing the boycott, Toomey claimed Raskin provided insufficient and misleading answers about his past to the board of directors of a payments company that had gained access to the Fed’s payment processing system. .

Although she was unanimously confirmed for her previous stints at the Fed and Treasury, Raskin was unlikely to win Republican support to become the Fed’s top regulator.

GOP senators have argued that she would use the Fed’s immense power to penalize the fossil fuel industry, citing her opposition to authorizing emergency pandemic loans for oil and gas companies and previous calls for greater attention to climate-related financial risks.

Toomey insisted the Republican blockade was not related to his political views, which he called disqualifying, but rather to questions about his work history.

Raskin served on the board of the financial firm Reserve Trust from 2017 to 2019 after serving as a Fed board member and deputy treasury secretary during the Obama administration.

She helped the company receive approval to use the Fed’s payment rails during this time after an initial request was rejected by the Kansas City Federal Reserve, one of 12 regional banks in the system. .

The Fed and Kansas City Reserve Trust each said Raskin played no role in helping the company overcome regulatory hurdles, but rather guided the company as it changed its business model to comply with the federal regulations.

“We just want to understand what happened here, and we’re not getting any answers. This is not acceptable,” Toomey told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Toomey added that Republicans are on board with advancing Biden’s other four Fed nominees – Fed Chairman Jerome PowellJerome PowellLina Khan won’t fix inflation The Hill’s Morning Report – The world ready for war Why the Fed overstimulated the economy MOREFed Vice Presidential nominee Lael Brainard and Fed Board nominees Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson and that some would receive bipartisan support.

But Brown said at Tuesday’s meeting that Raskin fully answered more than 180 follow-up questions from Republican senators after his confirmation hearing earlier this month.

“They’re now against voting on a candidate because they don’t like the answers she provided. It’s just a delay tactic,” Brown said.

Republicans have focused on nominating Raskin as the most vulnerable among Biden’s Fed nominees. While Powell, Brainard and Jefferson have already locked in some bipartisan support, Raskin’s views on climate-related financial risks were seen as a risk of alienating some moderate Democrats critical to his confirmation.

Even so, the Republican bet appeared to shore up Democratic support for Raskin among moderates on the banking panel.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) Democratic Testers see inflation as a growing problem for their Tester program hits Democrats on rural outreach Biden faces possible trucker threat MORE (D-Mont.), a red state moderate who previously announced his support for Raskin, urged Brown to hold a vote anyway “just to prove to these people’s voters” that “they’re not running not to do their constitutional duty”. duty.”

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenators Eye Plan B Amid Russia Sanctions Deadlock Democrats See Inflation A Growing Problem For Their Platform The Hill’s Morning Report – Featured By Facebook – More Blue States Let Terms Expire mask PLUS (Virginia), another moderate Democrat, said he was “disappointed with my Republican friends,” especially after facing backlash from his own party for backing some former President TrumpDonald Trump’s Rubio on White House Files at Mar-a-Lago: ‘It’s Not a Crime, I Don’t Believe’ Overnight Health Care – DC End Mask, On The Money Vaccine Warrants Biden inflation boogeymen MORE‘s Fed nominees.

“We have had lively debates over the years. The president and I have disagreed on issues, but we still showed up and did our job, and I hope that’s a momentary exception and not a rule,” Warner said.

It’s unclear when the banking panel will consider Biden’s five Fed nominees or his pick to lead the FHFA, or whether the committee will split committee votes on nominees to fill some of the vacancies.

The GOP blockade of Biden’s Fed nominees comes as the central bank prepares to begin a series of interest rate hikes to help stifle rising prices. Annual inflation hit 7.5% in January, according to Labor Department data, the highest rate since February 1982.

“Such an extreme move would be totally irresponsible at a time when it has never been more important to have confirmed leadership at the Fed to help continue our recovery and maintain price stability,” the press secretary said. of the White House. Jen PsakiJen PsakiWatch live: White House holds press briefing Man who attacked police in Paris with knife killed, official says union rates rise among young workers MORE after Toomey announced the planned boycott.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell calls ‘maskless’ Super Bowl celebrities as school mandates remain American unity is key to a whole and free Europe Manchin clarifies: He would oppose second High Court nominee just before the presidential election MORE (R-Ky.) Said the GOP blockade was a message to Biden to choose candidates closer to the political mainstream.

“These are very controversial, extremely controversial candidates who have strongly expressed the view that the Fed should be involved in things that are not the responsibility of the Fed. The best way to stop this is for the president to stop sending these kinds of candidates,” he said on Tuesday.

The Fed will still be able to carry out its primary responsibilities of adjusting monetary policy and overseeing the US financial system without Biden’s picks being confirmed.

Powell is currently acting chairman, but the Fed’s two vice-chairmanships will remain vacant until nominees are confirmed. Powell sits on the Fed board with Brainard, the lone Democrat, and Trump candidates Michelle Bowman and Christopher Waller.

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