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Biden Federal Reserve Nominee Had To Withdraw Herself, Thanks to Joe Manchin’s Undying Love of Coal

Joe Manchin closes a door behind him in a US Capitol hallway.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, one of President Joe Biden’s nominees for the Federal Reserve, has withdrawn herself from consideration for the position after it became clear that Republicans, with the help of Joe Manchin, were not going to vote to confirm her.

Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee have been blocking votes and delaying Raskin’s confirmation—and, by extension, the confirmation of four other Fed nominees—for more than a month. Raskin—who is married to Democratic U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin—has secured confirmations to the Fed board as well as the Treasury Department in the past with bipartisan support. So what’s different now?

In addition to being nominated by Biden, and therefore earning automatic opposition from Republicans no matter what, Raskin’s big crime appears to be her view that climate change has an effect on our economy and suggesting financial regulators should pay attention to that.

For Joe Manchin, acknowledging the realities of climate change is a major dealbreaker.

Republicans have been stating their opposition to Raskin’s nomination, with a group of senators even sending a letter to Biden in which they call her an “activist” and claim her confirmation would “harm all Americans.” Fossil fuel advocacy groups, which funnel a huge amount of money into the GOP, spoke out against her.

And then, on Monday, Manchin said he could not vote to confirm Raskin, essentially serving as the final nail in the coffin of her nomination, thanks to the Senate’s current 50-50 split between parties. In a statement, Manchin accused Raskin of trying to “politicize [the Federal Reserve’s] critical decisions” and said he could only support a candidate who proposed “an all-of-the-above energy policy.”

By “all of the above,” I assume Manchin means they need to consider coal, all of the money the coal industry puts into his pockets, and … nope, that’s it, those are the only things he cares about.

At least now the Senate can move ahead with the other four nominees whose confirmations were getting held up by the Republicans’ refusal to let Raskin move forward. (The committee’s chairman, Sherrod Brown, refused to split the nominees into separate votes.) For a group of people who claim to care so much about inflation—and love to accuse Democrats of not caring enough or at all—they sure were fine with holding up the entire institution designed to manage the issue, for no good reason at all.

(featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.