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Brown Will Make Bid to Break GOP Blockade Holding Up Fed Picks

© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) — Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown said Thursday he will try again next week to advance President Joe Biden’s five Federal Reserve picks past a blockade led by ranking Republican Pat Toomey on Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination to vice chair of supervision.

“We’re going to have another meeting next Wednesday morning. I am hopeful Republicans show up,” Brown said on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power with David Westin.” He said he’s never seen before one party try to block a confirmation vote with a boycott in the Banking Committee. 

“You go to the Senate, you do not have three choices, ‘Yes or no or I will boycott.’ You either vote yes or no. That is what the public expects,” the Ohio Democrat said.

Toomey continues to insist on getting more information from Raskin and the Fed over her role in lobbying for granting a master account to Colorado fintech firm Reserve Trust while she served as a director. Toomey contends it is a textbook example of Washington’s “revolving door” where former regulators — Raskin is a former Fed governor and former deputy Treasury secretary — get wealthy working for companies they regulated.

Raskin has said she can’t remember whether she helped the company get a master account. The Kansas City Fed has said it’s routine to discuss issues with directors of financial institutions, and the White House has said Raskin did nothing wrong. But Toomey said he’s been mostly stonewalled by the Fed for a full explanation on why the master account status was granted.

Toomey, of Pennsylvania, has argued that Democrats including Brown have boycotted other committee markups, including Finance Committee markups for Trump Cabinet picks Tom Price and Steven Mnuchin in 2017 in a dispute over their business dealings.

That boycott, however, didn’t result in a stalemate because the then-GOP majority was able to still vote the picks out of committee. In this 50-50 Senate, nominees can’t be sent to the floor without a quorum in the evenly-divided committees, requiring at least one Republican to show up for a vote.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Brown Will Make Bid to Break GOP Blockade Holding Up Fed Picks

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