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Sarah Bloom Raskin withdraws her candidacy for Federal Reserve board

Sarah Bloom Raskin, nominated to be vice chairman for supervision and a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, speaks before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 3, 2022.
Ken Cedeno | Reuters

Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s embattled nominee to the Federal Reserve, on Tuesday withdrew her candidacy to serve at the central bank, ending a weekslong partisan battle over her views on climate policy, a person familiar with the matter said.

Her withdrawal comes a day after Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia, said he could not support her nomination. His defection would have made her confirmation nearly impossible in a Senate split 50-50.

Biden had picked Raskin — a former Fed governor and deputy Treasury secretary — to be the Fed’s next vice chair for supervision, one of globe’s most powerful banking regulators.

But her candidacy came under fire in early February after Republicans made it clear they opposed her prior remarks critical of the U.S. fossil fuel industry and her research into bank lending away from major oil, gas and coal producers.

That GOP opposition blossomed into a full-scale boycott of all of the president’s Fed nominees when Democrats insisted the Biden administration’s candidates all be approved at the same hearing. Republicans, led by Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, effectively denied Democrats the necessary quorum required to hold a legitimate vote.

Had any Republican agreed to attend a vote, even if they had voted against Raskin, their mere presence would have allow all five nominees to advance out of the Banking Committee. But, in the end, opposition from within Biden’s own party doomed Raskin.

“Her previous public statements have failed to satisfactorily address my concerns about the critical importance of financing an all-of-the-above energy policy to meet our nation’s critical energy needs,” Manchin said in a statement released Monday.

The White House, which did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment, said Monday that many of the most intense attacks against Raskin came from within and from those with ties to the energy industry.

“Sarah Bloom Raskin is one of the most qualified people to have ever been nominated for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors,” a White House spokesperson told CNBC at the time. “She has earned widespread support in the face of an unprecedented, baseless campaign led by oil and gas companies that sought to tarnish her distinguished career.”

Manchin’s statement suggested he lacked faith that Raskin could serve on the central bank without politicizing her decisions based on her prior climate remarks. Manchin receives regular donoations from executives in the energy industry, including support from CEOs Ryan Lance of ConocoPhillips and Vicki Hollub of Occidental Petroleum.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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