Chamber of Commerce signals opposition to latest Biden high-profile nominee

Chris Brunet, DCNF

The largest lobbying group in the U.S. is raising concerns over President Joe Biden’s latest high-profile nominee, according to a letter released Thursday.

“Some of Ms. Raskin’s past actions and statements have raised concerns among the U.S. business community and merit the Committee’s scrutiny,” wrote the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown and Ranking Member Pat Toomey. Sarah Bloom Raskin was nominated on Jan. 14 by President Joe Biden to serve as vice chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, which would make her in charge of regulating the banking industry.

The letter raises several questions concerning the independence of the Federal Reserve, climate change, COVID-19, banking regulation and financial stability.

“Ms. Raskin has been critical of the Federal Reserve for allowing oil and gas companies to access the emergency 13(3) facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter stated, pointing to Raskin’s earlier statements on climate change. “She has also advocated for federal regulators to transition financing away from the fossil fuel industry in her writings and public comments.”

“Is it the role of the Federal Reserve to direct capital away from certain industries that are politically disfavored or direct capital towards industries that are politically favored?,” it asked, among other questions.

Toomey wrote his own letter to Biden on Tuesday, saying that “the demonstrated hostility of one nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, towards a sector [energy] that supports employment for millions of Americans, is unacceptable … she has also advocated for the Federal Reserve to pressure banks into choking off credit to traditional energy companies.”

The Senate Banking Committee will convene on Feb 3. to conduct a hearing on the nomination for Raskin.

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