Biden to nominate Michael Barr as Fed’s top banking regulator

President Biden on Friday announced that he would nominate Michael Barr to be the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator, making a second attempt to fill the role after his first nominee did not have the votes to be confirmed in the Senate.  

Barr is a law professor at the University of Michigan and served as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions under the Obama administration. He was a key player in the creation and passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 following the 2008 financial crisis. 

“Michael brings the expertise and experience necessary for this important position at a critical time for our economy and families across the country,” Biden said in a statement Friday morning.  

Biden also said that Barr, if confirmed, would play a critical role as the Fed looks to fight inflation.  

“Since I took office, the economy has created nearly 8 million jobs, and millions of families have the dignity a paycheck can provide and a little bit more breathing room. I know that rising prices and inflation are straining families’ budgets,” Biden continued.  

“While I’m doing everything in my power to lower prices for families, the Federal Reserve plays a critical role in fighting inflation and Barr will make a strong Vice-Chair Supervision, joining my other nominees for the Federal Reserve that the Senate is considering,” he said. 

The nomination comes exactly a month after Biden’s first nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew from consideration after it became clear she would not have the support needed to win confirmation in the 50-50 Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and moderate Republicans had expressed opposition to her nomination, closing the pathway to confirmation.  

In selecting Barr, Biden appears confident his new nominee will receive broader support. In his statement, Biden said that Barr “has strong support from across the political spectrum — and has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis.” 

Barr was previously confirmed to the Treasury Department post by a voice vote in May 2009.

The Senate is currently out on a two-week recess and will return at the end of April.  

Barr will need to sit for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee and be advanced by that panel before he can receive a vote on the Senate floor. That means it will be at least a few weeks before he can be confirmed, even if the process moves smoothly.  

Biden is urging the Senate to not only confirm Barr but also the four other Fed nominees he has put forward, including current Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom Biden nominated for a second term.  

The Senate Banking Committee advanced the four Federal Reserve nominees last month after Raskin withdrew from consideration.  

Tags banking regulator federal reserve Joe Biden Sarah Bloom Raskin Treasury

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