Senate banking Democrats back Fed nominees, but GOP absence means it won’t count

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The 12 Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee said Tuesday they would vote to confirm Sarah Bloom Raskin as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Oversight, going through committee action motions when a Republican boycott prevented the quorum necessary to advance it as well as five other nominations.

Republicans skipped the committee vote scheduled for Tuesday, saying they wanted more answers from Raskin about his involvement with Colorado-based fintech company Reserve Trust. The boycott has also delayed the consideration of five other candidates – four at the Federal Reserve, including Chairman Jerome Powell for a second term, and one at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, asked the clerk to call the vote at the behest of the senses. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Democrats voted yes on the candidates en bloc, although Warren asked to be recorded as a no to Powell.

But without a majority of its 24 members present, the panel cannot advance the prosecution candidates.

Democrats said the Republican boycott would hamper the Fed as it faces key decisions on how to tackle rising inflation. Powell and Lael Brainard, the Fed’s vice-presidential nominee, already sit on the board, but the other three – Raskin, Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson – would fill the seven-member board for the first time in nearly two years. ‘a decade.

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