ICYMI: Sen. Toomey Spearheads Effort to Demand Answers from Fed Nominee

Senate Banking Republicans, led by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, are blocking a vote on President Biden's nominees to the federal reserve until nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin and Democrat Senators clear up questions about Raskin's record:

Senate Republicans on Tuesday delayed a confirmation vote on President Joe Biden’s slate of Federal Reserve nominees in protest over the choice of Sarah Bloom Raskin to be the Fed’s top Wall Street regulator, throwing the nominating process into confusion.

The Banking Committee was set to vote on the president’s picks, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell for a second term and Governor Lael Brainard to be the Fed’s No. 2.

In a statement, Senator Toomey explained:

“Ms. Raskin’s repeated and forceful advocacy for having the Federal Reserve allocate capital and choke off credit to disfavored industries is alone disqualifying and reason enough to vote against her. But whether to proceed with a vote today is a separate question.

“Important questions about Ms. Raskin’s use of the ‘revolving door’ remain unanswered largely because of her repeated disingenuousness with the Committee, from her sloppy questionnaire, to an evasive conversation with Committee staff, to her refusal to answer questions from Senator Lummis at her nomination hearing, and her non-answers in written follow-up questions to the hearing. On 36 questions for the record, for example, Ms. Raskin claimed she either did ‘not recall’ or was ‘unaware’. Her repeated forgetfulness defies credulity.

“All senators—not just Banking Republicans—deserve straightforward and honest answers from Ms. Raskin before having to cast a vote on her nomination. Her fitness to serve, her judgment, and her probity are of utmost importance because Ms. Raskin is being considered for a 10-year term at the nation’s independent central bank and foremost financial regulator. This isn’t a garden-variety political appointment.

In his statement, Senator Toomey was referring to Raskin's ties to the Reserve Trust Company and her husband's, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, potential violation of federal law:

Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey, the ranking Republican on the committee, raised questions about Raskin’s ties to Reserve Trust Company, a Colorado-based fintech startup that gained access to the Fed’s payment system in 2018. He accused her of evading questions from committee staff about her dealings with the company and turning in a “sloppy questionnaire.”

Toomey said that Raskin has not satisfactorily answered questions about whether she lobbied the Kansas City Fed on behalf of Reserve Trust, where she was a board member. Toomey also raised questions about $1.5 million Raskin received in 2020 by selling her Reserve Trust shares.

And because Raskin’s husband, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, did not timely disclose the shares Sarah Bloom Raskin received from Reserve Trust, he may have violated a federal conflict-of-interest law, Business Insider reported.

Banking Republicans are willing to hold a vote on the nominees once these important concerns about Ms. Raskin are addressed, but committee Chair Sherrod Brown has made it abundantly clear that he does not care whether Senate Republicans' questions are answered.

We applaud Senator Toomey and the rest of the Senate Banking Republicans for demanding answers to crucial questions from a nominee to such an important government position.

Senator Toomey will join RNLA for a special D.C. luncheon on Wednesday, March 2nd at noon. Reserve your spot here today!