President Joe Biden has encountered pushback from members of his own party in response to his spending proposals and other aspects of his progressive agenda.
The latest example involves five Democratic senators who have informed the White House that they will not vote for a key Treasury Department nominee.
Backlash over prior statements
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden has nominated Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova to head the agency’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a position that exerts regulatory control over the nation’s system of banks and financial institutions.
The opposition of five senators — John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA) — appears to stem from controversial statements Omarova has made about the future of the nation’s banking industry.
She has previously suggested that she believes certain financial institutions would need to be bankrupted in order to achieve various climate change goals.
As Axios reported, pushback from even a handful of Democratic senators would essentially kill any chance of approving Omarova for the position.
Nevertheless, the White House appears unwilling to acknowledge that reality. As one unnamed official asserted, the Biden administration “continues to strongly support her historic nomination.”
“Eminently qualified for this position”
The White House insider added that Omarova “is eminently qualified for this position,” lamenting that she “has been treated unfairly since her nomination with unacceptable red-baiting from Republicans like it’s the McCarthy era.”
Some Senate Republicans have noted that Omarova was born and raised in Soviet-era Kazakhstan and has made statements suggesting that she supports certain policies implemented under communist rule.
According to the New York Post, a number of GOP lawmakers have directly referred to Omarova as “communist,” “comrade,” or “socialist,” arguing that her hostility toward America’s capitalist financial system makes her wholly unsuited for the position for which she has been nominated.
Not only has she signaled that pursuing a climate change agenda would bankrupt certain banks, but she has also proposed doing away with regional and smaller financial institutions in favor of a central Federal Reserve bank.
It remains to be seen how long Biden will continue pushing for the flawed candidate’s confirmation, but recent remarks from senators on both sides of the aisle signal that it has become a futile pursuit.