President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Treasury official, to serve as the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision.
The post is considered the top banking regulator in the country. Raskin would fill the role for a four-year term; she has also been nominated to serve as a member on the Board of Governors at the Fed through 2032.
Biden also nominated Lisa Cook, an economics professor at Michigan State University, and Philip Jefferson, an administrator and economics professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, to be Fed governors.
Raskin previously served as a Fed governor from 2010-14 before resigning to become deputy secretary of the Treasury from 2014-17. She is currently a law professor at Duke University.
If confirmed, Raskin would replace Randal Quarles as vice chair for supervision. Quarles resigned at the end of 2021.
Senate Republicans, led by Banking Committee Ranking Member Patrick Toomey (Pa.), will try to paint Raskin as willing to choke off financial support for industries Democrats find distasteful, like oil and gas.
”Sarah Bloom Raskin has specifically called for the Fed to pressure banks to choke off credit to traditional energy companies and to exclude those employers from any Fed emergency lending facilities,” Toomey wrote in a press release Thursday. “I have serious concerns that she would abuse the Fed’s narrow statutory mandates on monetary policy and banking supervision to have the central bank actively engaged in capital allocation. Such actions not only threaten both the Fed’s independence and effectiveness but would also weaken economic growth.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chair of the Banking Committee, praised all three of Biden’s nominees to the Fed, saying in a press release Friday they will ”bring important perspectives to the Federal Reserve Board about the economic issues women, Black and brown workers, and rural and industrial communities across the country face.”
The Fed Board of Governors typically has seven members. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, a Republican and appointee of former President Donald Trump, has been nominated to continue serving in the position by Biden, while Lael Brainard has been nominated to be vice chair. Former Vice Chair Richard Clarida, who was caught up in a controversy involving his trading activity, resigned Friday, less than three weeks before the expiration of his term.
Other current governors include Michelle Bowman and Christopher Waller.
“… [T]his group will bring much needed expertise, judgment, and leadership to the Federal Reserve while at the same time bringing a diversity of thought and perspective never seen before on the Board of Governors,” said Biden in a statement issued Friday. “They will continue the important work of steering us on a path to a strong, sustainable recovery while making sure that price increases do not become entrenched over the long term.”
Cook would be the first Black woman to ever serve as a Fed governor, while Jefferson would be the fourth Black man to hold the position. If the Senate confirms all of Biden’s nominees, the board would have a majority of female governors.
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