President Biden’s decision to nominate Saule Omarova for a top Treasury job has rattled several Senate Democrats because she previously said she wants the coal, oil and the gas industry to “go bankrupt.”
Newly surfaced video clips posted to social media show Ms. Omarova giving a seminar speech in which she advocates for putting smaller players in the natural gas, oil and coal industries out of business to “tackle climate change.”
“A lot of the smaller players in [coal, oil and gas] industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order,” Ms. Omarova said in February at the Jain Family Institute’s Social Wealth Seminar. “At least we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change, right?”
She also was a member of a Marxist Facebook group as recently as 2019 and made comments in a video about the financial services sector as the “quintessential [expletive] industry,” Fox News reported.
Ms. Omarova, a law professor at Cornell University, was tapped by Mr. Biden to be the Treasury Department’s comptroller of the currency.
As comptroller, she would direct national banks and federal thrift savings plans. The comptroller is also an ex officio member of the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Ms. Omarova was born in the former Soviet Union in what is now Kazakhstan and graduated from Moscow State University in 1989. In 2019 she tweeted in favor of the Soviet pay model over the United States.
As a result of her economic views, there is growing evidence moderate Democrats may sink her nomination.
Sen. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, became the first in his caucus to indicate his concerns about Ms. Omarova on Tuesday publicly.
“Some of Ms. Omarova‘s past statements about the role of government in the financial system raise real concerns about her ability to impartially serve at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and I’m looking forward to meeting with her to discuss them,” he told Fox Business.
At least two other Democrats, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, also have reservations about Ms. Omarova, according to an Axios report.
The Washington Times reached out to the White House for comment and did not hear back.
Senate Banking Committee ranking member Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, has demanded Ms. Omarova turn over a copy of her thesis, titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.” The senator requested copies in both English and the original Russian to be delivered to the committee.
Mr. Toomey, in a floor speech, excoriated Ms. Omarova saying, “What she wants to do, and I quote … is effectively ‘end banking as we know it.’” He said. “She advocates that the government acting through the Fed would actually cut off credit to those deemed ‘socially suboptimal can you imagine?”
If the White House withdraws Ms. Omarova‘s nomination, it would be among a handful of nominees that were pulled because of opposition by Senate Democrats.
David Chipman was withdrawn in September as a nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives amid concerns about his advocacy for tougher gun-control laws.
Neera Tanden’s nomination to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget was withdrawn in March. Support for Ms. Tanden crumbled due to her past mean tweets directed at senators.
Mr. Biden later tapped her to be a White House senior adviser, a post that does not require Senate confirmation.