Biden to remove struggling banking regulator candidate


President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the appointment of Saule Omarova as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would …

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that Saule Omarova’s appointment as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would be withdrawn as his candidacy met strong resistance in the Senate, with Republican lawmakers criticizing his vision for banking regulation and its birthplace in the former Soviet Union.

The president said in a statement that he had accepted a request to withdraw Omarova, a law professor at Cornell University, who was born in Kazakhstan while part of the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States. in 1991. In Senate committee hearings last month, they addressed questions about greater government oversight of the financial sector. This led Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to say his ideas were a “socialist manifesto,” while Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said, “I don’t know if I should call you professor or comrade.

Biden defended his candidate in the statement announcing his appointment withdrawn.

“As a strong advocate for consumers and a strong advocate for the safety and soundness of our financial system, Willow would have brought invaluable vision and perspective to our important work on behalf of the American people,” said the President. “But unfortunately, from the start of his appointment, Willow was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond pallor.”

Yet the appointment withdrawn was a sign that Omarova also lacked the Democratic backing needed to clear the banking committee and faced a Senate-wide vote. During his confirmation hearing, Senator Jon Tester of Montana said he had “significant concerns” about Omarova’s appointment, including some of his opposition to a bipartisan law that relaxed some of the restrictions on banks after the 2008 financial crisis.

Last year, Omarova published an article arguing for an overhaul of the country’s banking system that would expand the role of the Federal Reserve by allowing the central bank to hold consumer deposits. This could supplant one of the roles of private banks, a major criticism of its critics. Supporters of the idea say the Fed could grant loans to individual accounts more quickly during an economic downturn.

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