Senate Banking Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Fed Nominee Michael Barr

May 20, 2022Federal Regulation, News

On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee held a confirmation hearing for three of President Biden’s nominees for various positions. In addition to Michael Barr, chosen to be the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Vice Chairman for Supervision, the Committee heard testimony from two nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission: Jaime Lizárraga and Mark Toshiro Uyeda.

“If confirmed, you all will be on the front lines at a critical point in our nation’s history,” said Acting Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.). We are facing challenges that are unique and unprecedented, and we need folks serving our country who will always put the needs of our country before personal or political ideology.”

“Hopefully, the worst of the pandemic is behind us, but our economy is not where it needs to be in terms of its recovery,” Tester continued. “Families are seeing higher costs from the gas pump to the grocery store, and while unemployment is at a record low, small businesses in Montana and across the country are having trouble finding and keeping workers.”

Barr was nominated after Biden’s first choice for the Vice Chair of Supervision position, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew her nomination facing unanimous Republican opposition and that of enough Democrats to leave no plausible path forward.

“If confirmed as Vice Chair of Supervision, I would be strongly committed to the Federal Reserve’s responsibilities to ensure that the financial system is robust and resilient, that innovation flourishes with clear rules of the road, and that the financial system operates fairly,” Barr said in his opening statement.

As American Banker noted in its coverage, Barr received little resistance from Republicans at the hearing. However, “committee members sought to pin down Barr’s views on the role of climate change in setting prudential regulation and the independence of the Fed. Republicans also used the hearing to press Barr about perceived shortcomings of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which he played a key role in designing after the global financial crisis.”

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