Psaki calls Republicans ‘irresponsible’ for blocking Biden’s Fed nominees
White House press secretary Jen Psaki railed against Republican senators on Tuesday for blocking President Biden’s Federal Reserve nominees, calling their moves “irresponsible” amid surging inflation.
“This is a very extreme step that’s totally irresponsible in our view. It’s never been more important to have confirmed leadership at the Fed to help continue our recovery and fight inflation and obviously they have a unique role to play, an important, a vital role to play as it relates to inflation. I think Democrats and Republicans have agreed on that for decades,” Psaki told reporters.
Each of the 12 Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a hearing on Tuesday, when the panel was set to vote on five nominees to the central bank.
“Republicans are out there saying inflation’s a problem, it’s a huge issue, we agree. And then they’re not even bothering to show up to even vote against these nominees to the Federal Reserve. What message does that send to the American public?” Psaki said.
She said the White House will continue to work with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on a path forward.
Brown said he would delay the votes until Republicans agreed to consider Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination to be the Fed’s regulatory chief along with the other four picks.
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.), the top Republican on the Banking panel, moved to block the votes on the nominees because Raskin is on the slate. The senator claimed Raskin had provided insufficient and misleading answers about her history on the board of a payments company that obtained access to the Fed’s payment processing system.
Psaki defended Raskin’s nomination, calling her “one of the most qualified individuals to ever be nominated for Federal Reserve.”
“Senator Toomey has continued to promote false allegations that have already been shot down by ethics experts, the Kansas City Fed, the founder of Reserve Trust and Sarah Bloom Raskin herself,” Psaki said.
Democrats echoed Psaki’s assessment of the Republican’s stance on the nominees.
Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said “it’s almost like they don’t want to do anything on inflation” and Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) earlier on Tuesday said he was “disappointed in my Republican friends.”