The Senate Banking Committee was set to vote on President Joe Biden’s slate of Federal Reserve nominees on Tuesday, but Republicans threatened to boycott the vote, according to a press release.
The rift relates to Sarah Bloom Raskin, who Biden nominated to serve as vice chair of supervision of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors. Bloom Raskin has been accused of influence peddling, and Republicans say they want to get to the bottom of those accusations before a vote.
“Until basic questions have been adequately addressed, I do not think the Committee should proceed with a vote on Ms. Raskin,” wrote Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey in a statement. “Important questions about Ms. Raskin’s use of the ‘revolving door’ remain unanswered largely because of her repeated disingenuousness with the Committee … On 36 questions for the record, for example, Ms. Raskin claimed she either did ‘not recall’ or was ‘unaware’. Her repeated forgetfulness defies credulity.”
Republicans said they are still willing to vote on the other four Fed nominees — Jerome Powell, Lisa Cook, Lael Brainard and Philip Jefferson — just not Bloom Raskin. If Democrats agree to delay Bloom Raskin’s confirmation vote, Toomey says, “Republicans will attend, we will vote actually, a significant majority of them will pass with Republican support…or he can choose to have none.”
“If my colleagues are as concerned about inflation as they claim to be, they will not slow down this process, which will only hurt workers, their families, and our recovery,” Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said Tuesday.
There are 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee. If all 12 Republican senators fail to appear for the vote, which is scheduled to take place at 2:15 p.m., the committee would not reach a quorum, and the confirmation process would be delayed indefinitely.