Following the retirement of former Federal Reserve Board governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, US President Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint Michael Barr, a former Obama administration official and law professor, as the central bank’s vice chair for supervision.
The White House announced on Friday that Barr was Biden’s choice to oversee the Federal Reserve and establish the regulatory agenda for its leadership.
Barr sat on the Ripple Labs advisory board from 2015 to 2017, served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions under former President Barack Obama, and taught financial regulatory courses at the University of Michigan.
He was “a key architect” of the Dodd-Frank Act, which continues to affect financial policy in the United States, according to the White House.
President Biden said:
“Barr has strong support from across the political spectrum — and has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis. He understands that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in regulating our nation’s financial institutions to ensure Americans are treated fairly and to protect the stability of our economy.”
The president of the United States stated that he wants to “move Barr’s nomination forward quickly,” which is likely due to the fact that the vice-chair for supervision job has been vacant since Fed governor Randal Quarles’ term expired in October 2021. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, stated that he would vote for the nominee, stressing the necessity for a “full Fed board.”
“The vicechair of supervision plays a critical role in protecting our financial system and must prioritize strong financial regulation, and identify and stay ahead of risks to our economy. I will support this key nominee, and I strongly urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their old playbook of personal attacks and demagoguery and put Americans and their pocketbooks first.”
It’s unclear whether partisanship will play a role in Barr’s prospective nomination making it through committee and into the full Senate. In March, Raskin, Biden’s original choice for vice chair for oversight, withdrew her name from consideration, blaming “relentless attacks by special interests” and referring to Republican senators who had “held hostage” her candidacy since February.
Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee skipped a meeting at the time aimed at bringing Biden’s nominees forward for a Senate vote.
Biden’s nominees for Fed chair, vice chair, and two governors, Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson, have yet to be confirmed by the Senate. In the absence of a full Senate vote, Powell has been serving as chair pro tempore since February 4, while Brainard remains a member of the Fed’s board of governors.
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