- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Biden’s pick for the Federal Reserve Board, withdrew her candidacy on Tuesday, the White House announced after opposition from Republicans and one Democrat over positions on energy and climate change.

“Despite her readiness — and despite having been confirmed by the Senate with broad, bipartisan support twice in the past — Sarah was subject to baseless attacks from industry and conservative interest groups,” Mr. Biden said in a statement announcing her scuttled nomination. “Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are more focused on amplifying these false claims and protecting special interests than taking important steps toward addressing inflation and lowering costs for the American people.”

The move comes one day after Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, said he would not support her nomination. Mr. Manchin’s defection would have made confirmation impossible in the evenly split Senate, without any GOP support.

Mrs. Raskin did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.

Mr. Manchin said he opposed Mrs. Raskin because of her views on energy, as gas prices continue to soar amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine and rising inflation.

“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. I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to support her nomination to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board,” he said in a statement Monday.

Mrs. Raskin was nominated for the job of vice chair for supervision, the Fed’s top banking regulator. Even before Mr. Manchin’s statement, she was under fire from Republicans over her views on monetary policy and climate change.

She has argued that the Fed Reserve should move away from lending to energy companies, including in a May 2020 op-ed for The New York Times. She also advocated for the central bank to take a stronger role on climate change issues, which are outside its mandate, and said oil and gas jobs are “dying.”

“It is clear Ms. Raskin’s nomination did not have the votes and was sailing towards failure,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, said in a statement. “Our economy depends on clear-minded monetary policies, not activists in the Fed carrying out an ideological and political agenda. It was past time to withdraw her nomination.”

Mrs. Raskin is married to Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat, a longtime Biden ally in Congress. She previously served as a former Fed governor and deputy Treasury secretary.

Republican opposition to her nomination soon turned into a full-scale boycott of all of Mr. Biden’s Fed nominees by GOP members on the Senate Banking Committee. Democrats had insisted all of the nominees be approved at the same time and thus were denied a quorum to hold a vote for the candidates.

Had Republicans agreed to a vote, that would have allowed all five nominees to advance out of the Banking Committee.

But now that Mrs. Raskin has withdrawn, Mr. Biden’s other nominees for the Fed are expected to move quickly for a full Senate vote.

In his statement, Mr. Biden urged the Senate Banking Committee to advance his remaining four nominees for the Fed. The statement did not address Mr. Biden’s efforts to find a replacement.

The withdrawal is the latest blow in a series of efforts by the Biden administration to boost its financial regulatory oversight. Saule Omarova, Mr. Biden’s pick for the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, withdrew her nomination in December after staunch opposition from Republicans.

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

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