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President Biden’s choice of a key banking supervisor falls back.


Republicans in Congress imitated the lobbyists’ criticism, saying Ms Omarova’s academic work and her Soviet heritage should disqualify her. In a conversation that gasped Democrats during Ms. Omarova’s hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 18, Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy demanded to know whether Ms. Omarova had ever resigned from a Communist youth group that were Soviet children. . forced to join, adding, “I don’t know if I should call you ‘professor’ or ‘comrade’.”

But the Republican opposition wouldn’t have mattered if the Senate Democrats had united in Mrs. Omarova’s favor. Her nomination was ultimately doomed to fail due to a lack of support from moderates, making her the third high-profile nominee from the Biden administration to drop out after failing to gain the full support of Democratic lawmakers. The White House also pulled Mr. Biden’s first picks to head the Office of Management and Budget and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

At Ms Omarova’s hearing, Montana senators Jon Tester and Virginia’s Mark Warner, both Democrats, said they had serious concerns about her candidacy, although neither suggested she intended to undermine capitalism. Instead, they condemned her for resisting legislation they both supported to roll back some of the regulation introduced by the Dodd-Frank Act in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, the Democrat who heads the Banking Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday that he was disappointed with the outcome.

“Dr. Omarova is one of the most qualified nominees ever for this job due to her experience as a policy maker, in the private sector and in academia,” he said.

Powerful interests had “distorted” Ms Omarova’s views, Mr Brown added.

“In a relentless smear campaign reminiscent of the McCarthyism of the Red Terror, they have shamefully attacked her family, her heritage and her devotion to American ideals,” he said.

Pennsylvania Senator Patrick J. Toomey, the committee’s top Republican, said in a statement Tuesday that “a bipartisan consensus emerged that Professor Omarova’s self-proclaimed radical ideas for the U.S. financial system were not appropriate for our nation’s chief banking regulator. “

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