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Psaki rips into GOP for stalling on Biden’s Federal Reserve nominees: ‘Republicans are AWOL on the fight against inflation’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki listens to a reporter’s question during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

  • Jen Psaki criticized Republicans for delaying the confirmation of Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve board.
  • “Republicans are AWOL on the fight against inflation,” Psaki said.
  • Republicans on Tuesday boycotted a meeting to vote on the five nominees. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday skewered Senate Republicans for delaying the confirmation of five of President Joe Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve board.

“Republicans are AWOL on the fight against inflation,” Psaki said during a press briefing. “At this pivotal moment in our economy, everyone understands we need a full Federal Reserve board, the first one in nearly a decade to tackle inflation and bring prices down for American families.”

“We believe Republicans need to do their jobs and show up to vote for these nominees,” she added. “They can vote against people, but not showing up is not delivering on the commitment you made to the American people when they elected you.”

Psaki’s comments echo those made by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who blasted his Republican colleagues for refusing to show up to the panel’s vote on Biden’s nominees on Tuesday. Democrats say that having a full seven-member board on the Federal Reserve is “crucial” to making progress on tackling inflation. 

“Instead of showing up to work to do their jobs, Republicans have walked out on the American people,” Brown said.

The Senate Banking Committee was set to vote on Biden’s nominees on Tuesday, but the twelve Senate Republicans on the panel, led by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, boycotted the meeting, effectively stalling the process.

—Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) February 15, 2022

The move stems from the GOP’s objection to one of Biden’s nominees, Sarah Bloom Raskin, who has been tapped to serve as the Fed’s top bank regulator. Republicans have expressed concerns with Raskin’s past comments on climate change, as well as her previous association with the Federal Reserve while she was on the board of a financial tech company called Reserve Trust. 

“[Senators] deserve straightforward and honest answers from Ms. Raskin before having to cast a vote on her nomination. Her fitness to serve, her judgment, and her probity are of utmost importance because Ms. Raskin is being considered for a 10-year term at the nation’s independent central bank and foremost financial regulator. This isn’t a garden-variety political appointment,” Toomey said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Democrats have slammed the GOP’s efforts as insincere and have defended Raskin’s nomination.

“Ms. Bloom Raskin has been the subject of unrelenting smear campaign and fear-mongering by the ranking member and Republicans — something that’s become all too common,” Brown said Tuesday. 

Republicans say they’re willing to move forward to advance Biden’s four other nominees, which include Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who’s been nominated for a second term. But Senate Democrats and the White House have opposed splitting up the process for the five nominees. 

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