- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The White House on Wednesday blamed Republican senators for exacerbating inflation, arguing that blocking President Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board has handicapped efforts to curb rising prices.

Mr. Biden thinks that Republicans are “AWOL” in the inflation fight because they put the brakes on a key Fed nominee, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“Everyone understands we need a full Federal Reserve board, the first one in nearly a decade to tackle inflation and bring prices down for American families,” she said.

Republicans boycotted a Senate Banking Committee meeting on Tuesday to protest and delay advancing the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin as the Fed’s top banking regulator because of her views on injecting climate change policy into policy at the central bank and her lobbying for a financial technology company that got VIP treatment at the Federal Reserve.

The boycott also held up four other of Mr. Biden’s nominees to the Fed, including the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell to a second term.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democratic, pledged to delay votes for the nominees unless Republicans agree to consider all five of Mr. Biden’s picks. 

The White House “absolutely” supports Mr. Brown’s plan to hold up the nominees, Ms. Psaki said.

She also said that she was in the Oval Office when Mr. Brown conveyed that strategy to the president and he supported it.

“We are not advocating for splitting the nominees, we support Chairman Brown’s decision to keep all five on the Fed board, pushing them forward through the committee. We believe Republicans need to do their jobs and show up to vote for these nominees,” Ms. Psaki said.

Ms. Psaki said the White House is optimistic a vote will occur by the end of the month, adding that Mr. Brown is a “bulldog” when he wants to get something done.

Republicans say that Mrs. Raskin, who is the wife of Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, hasn’t “adequately addressed” questions about her job at the financial technology company or her calls for the Fed to do more to address climate change.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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