Following the resignation of former Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, US President Joe Biden has declared his desire to appoint Michael Barr, a former Obama administration official and law professor, as the central bank’s vice chair for supervision.
The White House announced on Friday that Barr is Biden’s choice to oversee the Federal Reserve and define its regulatory agenda. From 2015 to 2017, Barr sat on the Ripple Labs advisory board, worked as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions under former President Barack Obama, and taught financial regulation classes at the University of Michigan. He was “a primary architect” of the Dodd-Frank Act, according to the White House, legislation that continues to impact US financial policy.
“Barr has broad bipartisan support and has been confirmed by the Senate,” stated President Biden. “He recognises that this is not a partisan job, but rather one that plays a key role in regulating our nation’s financial institutions to ensure that Americans are treated fairly and that our economy is stable.”
President Biden declared his intention to “move Barr’s nomination ahead fast
The US president stated that he intended to “move Barr’s nomination ahead fast,” which is likely due to the fact that the vice-chair for supervision job has been empty since Fed governor Randal Quarles’ term expired in October 2021. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, stated that he would vote in favour of the appointment, stressing the necessity for a “full Fed board.”
“The vicechair of supervision has a key role in defending our financial system, and he or she must prioritise strong financial regulation, as well as identify and stay ahead of economic threats,” Brown added. “I will vote for this important nominee, and I strongly urge my Republican colleagues to reject their old tactics of personal assaults and demagoguery in favour of Americans and their wallets.”
Raskin, President Biden’s original choice, withdrew her name from consideration
It’s uncertain if partisanship will play a role in Barr’s prospective nomination making it through committee and a full Senate vote. Raskin, Biden’s original choice for vice-chair of oversight, withdrew her name from consideration in March, blaming the “relentless onslaught by special interests” and Republican lawmakers who had “held hostage” her candidacy since February. Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a meeting at the time aimed at bringing Biden’s nominees forward for a vote in the Senate.
Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson, Biden’s nominees for Fed chair, vice-chair, and two governors, have yet to be confirmed by the Senate. In the absence of a full Senate vote, Powell has served as chair pro tempore since February 4, while Brainard remains a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.