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Joe Manchin Sinks Biden’s Anti-Fossil Fuel Fed Nominee

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would not support the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s nominee to become the Federal Reserve’s Vice-Chair of Supervision.

In a statement Monday, the moderate Democrat expressed concern about Raskin’s public statements and track record of opposing federal investments in the oil and gas industry. Those concerns, he said, meant he could support Raskin’s confirmation, effectively scuttling the appointment in the evenly-divided Senate.

“Now more than ever, the United States must have policy leaders and economic experts who are focused on the most pressing issues facing the American people and our nation – specifically rising inflation and energy costs,” Manchin said in a statement. “I have carefully reviewed Sarah Bloom Raskin’s qualifications and previous public statements. 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. I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to support her nomination to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board.”

“The Federal Reserve Board is not an institution that should politicize its critical decisions,” Manchin continued. “This is a 10-year term to perhaps the most important independent body that is tasked with ensuring the stability of the American economy. At this historic moment for both the United States and the world at large, it is imperative the Federal Reserve Board preserves its independence and steers clear of any hint of partisanship. Instead, the Federal Reserve Board must remain hyper focused on ending the inflation taxes hurting working families and getting more workers off the sidelines and back into the economy. The time has come for the Federal Reserve Board to return to its defining principles and dual mandate of controlling inflation by ensuring stable prices and maximum employment. I will not support any future nominee that does not respect these critical priorities.”

Raskin previously came under intense scrutiny from Republicans both for previous public statements she made opposing federal investments in the fossil fuel industry, and for allegedly using her position as a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors to help Reserve Trust, a financial firm she worked for, get special access to the Federal Reserve’s payments system.

GOP members of the Senate Banking Committee, led by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), boycotted committee meetings over her fossil fuel comments and over concerns that she repeatedly refused to answer questions about her Reserve Trust involvement.

Meanwhile, Manchin has been sounding the alarm on revitalizing domestic energy production amid skyrocketing energy prices around the country. Manchin and fellow Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) lambasted the Biden administration for reportedly appealing to adversarial foreign countries to ramp up production, and urged the federal government to step up oil and gas production for domestic use and export.

The West Virginia Democrat went one step further, withholding the nomination of an Interior Department nominee until the Biden administration committed to more oil and gas drilling. Manchin has also blasted the Biden administration and several officials publicly for not doing enough to stimulate oil and gas development.

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