Mar 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Manchin says he can't support Biden's Fed nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) speaking in Houston, Texas, on March 11.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) speaking in Houston, Texas, on March 11. Photo: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) said Monday he can't support Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Biden's nominee for the Federal Reserve's vice chair of supervision.

Why it matters: Without Manchin's support, Raskin's confirmation is thrown into doubt. She wanted financial regulators to better understand climate change-related risks to the financial system and possibly incentivize more spending away from fossil fuels.

What they're saying: "Now more than ever, the United States must have policy leaders and economic experts who are focused on the most pressing issues facing the American people and our nation - specifically rising inflation and energy cost," Manchin said in a statement.

  • "I have carefully reviewed Sarah Bloom Raskin’s qualifications and previous public statements. 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," he added.

Our thought bubble: Manchin is reminding his party — and his president — that he's not done wielding his veto pen, per Axios' Hans Nichols.

  • First he took out Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and then he killed the president's signature domestic agenda. Now he's forcing Biden back to the drawing board on how he's going to regulate big banks.

The latest: Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) both said later Monday they would vote no on Raskin — further casting doubt on the nomination.

White House deputy press secretary Chris Meager called Raskin "one of the most qualified people to have ever been nominated for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors," adding that she "previously served on the Board and she served as second-in-command at Treasury, both positions where she earned bipartisan Senate confirmation."

  • "We are working to line up the bipartisan support that she deserves, so that she can be confirmed by the Senate for this important position," he added.

The big picture: Raskin had argued in the past that financial regulators should use their powers to try to constrain the flow of capital to the fossil fuel sector, attracting the ire of the oil and gas industries and their allies on Capitol Hill.

  • She also served on the board of a financial technology company, Reserve Trust, that obtained a "master account" with the Federal Reserve, giving it a competitive edge over rivals.
  • Raskin told the Senate Banking Committee she did not recall making a phone call to a former Fed colleague to help obtain the account, a claim Republicans found disingenuous.

Go deeper: Senate Republicans delay vote on Fed nominees

Editor's note: This post has been updated with comment from White House deputy press secretary Chris Meager and news that Sens. Murkowski and Collins said they oppose the nomination.

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