Senate Banking Committee ranking member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., railed against Democrats for what he described as double standards, saying Democrats complain about Republicans’ behavior but have no problem with members of their own party engaging in the same behavior.
During his opening remarks at a Thursday committee hearing about the state of the economy, Toomey spoke to Democrats complaining about the “revolving door” of officials who fluctuate between government jobs and positions with companies in industries they had regulated.
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“Is there a more archetypical example than Ms. Raskin?” he asked, referring to former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Biden’s nominee for Federal Reserve vice chairwoman for supervision of banks. Raskin is also the wife of Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.
Mrs. Raskin has come under fire from Republicans for her past role as a director of financial technology company Reserve Trust. During her time on the board, the company was granted a master account by the Federal Reserve, becoming the first fintech company to get one despite previously being denied. Republicans allege that Raskin lobbied the Kansas City Federal Reserve to approve the account.
The Kansas City Fed said in a statement last week that the reason Reserve Trust’s second master account application was approved was not because of Raskin but because of structural changes at Reserve Trust.
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While Democrats continue to support Raskin, Toomey noted that Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently accused former Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randy Quarles of being corrupt for leaving the Fed and returning to a private equity firm he had founded.
“I guess it’s corrupt if a Republican does that, but the rules don’t seem to apply in the other directions,” Toomey said.
At the open of Thursday’s committee hearing, Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, slammed the GOP for not showing up to vote on five Federal Reserve nominees, arguing it was important to fill those positions. Toomey fired back, observing that it was ironic for Brown, of all people, to make such a complaint.
“It’s a little bit rich to be lectured by the chairman about not attending a markup of nominees when the chairman personally led the Democratic boycott of the Senate Finance Committee markup of two Trump nominees,” Toomey said. “There are several other Democrats on the committee who participated in that boycott. I guess what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.”
Toomey went on to address the “gnashing of teeth” over the Fed board vacancies and a “newfound Democratic concern over inflation.” For over a year, Toomey said, he and his GOP colleagues warned about “excessive spending” and the risk of inflation while Democrats were “pushing for yet another inflation-fueling spending blowout bill.”
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Addressing the nominees, Toomey said Republicans were ready, willing and able to vote on five of the six nominees, but that Brown has decided not to move forward with them. Republicans refused to vote on Raskin before getting more information.