Mar 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Omarova on Raskin's withdrawal: It's a shame

Sarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Saule Omarova at Capitol Hill confirmation hearings.

Sarah Bloom Raskin (left) and Saule Omarova at Capitol Hill confirmation hearings. Photos: Ken Cedeno-Pool, Anna Moneymaker via Getty images

When Sarah Bloom Raskin's nomination to the Federal Reserve cratered last week, the situation looked familiar to one observer — Saule Omarova, who tells Axios the whole situation was "a shame."

Driving the news: Raskin withdrew her nomination for the agency's top regulator post last week, explaining in a letter to the president that her views on climate change drew "relentless attacks" from members of the Senate Banking Committee.

  • Republican senators also criticized Raskin's work in the private sector, claiming she improperly used her influence as a former Fed official. (Neil Irwin explains).
  • But it was a Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who ultimately sank her nomination because of her stance on climate.

Why it matters: Formerly the Biden administration's pick to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Omarova's own confirmation fell through last year amid intense Republican opposition.

  • The particulars are different, Omarova said, but broadly she sees common threads.
  • "In both cases, our views were taken out of context. And distorted," Omarova, a law professor at Cornell, tells Axios. "And it was vicious. It was personal."

The bottom line: Raskin might have been stopped, but the Fed, and other agencies, are already considering how to include climate risk into their regulatory schemes (more below on the SEC's latest move).

  • The OCC, the Small Business Administration and the Energy Department may also look at incorporating climate risks into lending standards.

Go deeper: Why Raskin's climate change views sank her Fed nomination

Go deeper