NYT alleges Biden’s failed banking pick was ‘painted’ as a communist by Republicans and ‘lobbyists’

Ailan Evans, DCNF

The New York Times alleged that Republicans and bank lobbyists “painted” President Joe Biden’s pick for a top banking regulator as a communist because she was born in the Soviet Union.

Biden nominated Saule Omarova, a Cornell Law professor born in the former Soviet Union, to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in September, where she faced criticism from Republicans over her views on banking and alleged links to communist ideology. He withdrew Omarova’s nomination Tuesday after several top Senate Democrats signaled their opposition.

In a tweet linking to its article on Omarova’s withdrawn nomination, the Times wrote that “bank lobbyists and Republicans painted her as a communist because she was born in the Soviet Union,” and offered no further context. The article mentions “a Wall Street Journal editorial suggesting that Ms. Omarova’s Soviet childhood meant that she could not be trusted,” linking to an op-ed mostly concerned with Omarova’s ideas on banking that briefly mentions her upbringing.

Republicans, including Sens. John Kennedy and Marco Rubio, insinuated Omarova was a communist, with Kennedy wisecracking during her confirmation hearing that he wasn’t sure “whether to call [Omarova] professor or comrade” in reference to her membership in a communist organization, which Omarova claimed was part and parcel of growing up in the Soviet Union.

Republicans also pointed to Omarova’s Moscow State University thesis “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital,” which Omarova refused to hand over to the Senate Banking Committee.

Omarova also once praised the former Soviet Union for its gender equality.

“Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Markets don’t always ‘know best,’” she tweeted in 2019.

More saliently, Senate Banking Republicans have taken issue with Omarova’s views on the banking industry.

“Lobbyists began to oppose her almost as soon as her nomination was announced, saying she wanted to replace the banking industry’s functions with services provided by the Federal Reserve,” the Times wrote in its article on Omarova’s withdrawn nomination. “They pointed to a 2020 paper that Ms. Omarova had written about ways the Fed could use its own digital currency, which central bankers had already begun to consider creating.”

The paper the Times referred to is titled “The People’s Ledger” in which Omarova argued for a  “systematic democratization of finance” and called for “reshaping the basic architecture and dynamics of modern finance” that will “‘end banking,’ as we know it.” It paper outlined a system in which Americans have retail bank accounts with the Federal Reserve, which completely replaces private banks deposits, and use a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Republicans have also criticized Omarova for her views on the fossil fuel industry, which she called to “bankrupt” if “we want to tackle climate change.”

The New York Times did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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