Biden Federal Reserve nominee faces opposition from state financial officers

The West Virginia State Treasurer argues that Raskin's beliefs on traditional fuels would harm the economy if implemented.

Updated: February 3, 2022 - 11:23pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Joe Biden's nomination for a key Federal Reserve position may be in jeopardy as state treasurers and financial officers in 21 states voice their opposition.

The nominee for Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Bank is Duke law professor Sarah Bloom Raskin. She has voiced her support on numerous occasions for using financial agencies, including the Federal Reserve, to withdraw from coal, oil and natural gas, the West Virginia Record reports. 

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore (R) this week joined a coalition of 24 state auditors, treasurers and financial officers to oppose Raskin's nomination.

"Sarah Bloom Raskin has made clear on multiple occasions that she wants to use the power of the Fed to direct capital based on her personal social agenda rather than the demands of the economy," Moore said in a press release. "We cannot allow President Biden to turn the Federal Reserve into a radical central planning politburo aimed at reshaping our society – we must reject this nominee."

Raskin argued in a May 2020 New York Times op-ed that the Federal Reserve should direct capital away from fossil fuels and toward emerging energy sources.

"One needs only to look at what’s happening in Eastern Europe and Ukraine right now to see the dangers of losing energy independence," Moore said. "The European countries that President Biden and Sarah Raskin so desperately want to emulate decided to self-implode their coal, oil and natural gas sectors to move toward less reliable sources, which has allowed Russia to simply move in and impose its will in the region."

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing Thursday on Raskin's nomination. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) voiced his opposition to Raskin in his opening statement at the hearing.

"Unelected officials like Ms. Raskin want to misuse bank regulation to impose environmental policies that Congress has refused to enact," Toomey alleged.

West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said all of Biden's Federal Reserve nominees "look extremely qualified." Manchin, a key vote, also said he is concerned about issues such as inflation and wanted to learn more about the nominees before making a final decision.

Moore said he thinks Raskin's plan would make inflation worse.

“The American people are already suffering from generationally high inflation, and this will only be made worse by a centrally planned push toward more expensive, less reliable forms of energy,” the West Virginia treasurer said. "It will also destroy the economies of energy-producing states like West Virginia, damaging the growth for our national economy – which depends on a reliable electrical grid – making us more dependent on foreign sources of energy."

Raskin is not the only controversial Biden Federal Reserve nominee. Sen. Toomey on Thursday criticized Biden's nominee for Reserve Governor, Dr. Lisa Cook.

"She has supported race-based reparations, promoted conspiracies about Georgia voter laws, and sought to cancel those who disagree with her views, such as publicly calling for the firing of an economist who dared to tweet that he opposed defunding the Chicago police," Toomey said.