Senate Banking Republicans Say Fed Withheld Documents They Requested During Sarah Bloom Raskin Vetting for Fed Vice Chair of Supervision

Aug 15, 2022Congressional Legislation, Federal Regulation, News

Last week, Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, including Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell accusing the Fed of “a lack of transparency and accountability” after a press report revealed that the Fed had several documents the senators requested during the Committee’s vetting of former Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, who President Biden nominated earlier this year to serve as the Fed’s Vice Chair for Supervision.

Specifically, the senators sought information related to Raskin’s role in helping secure a Fed master account for a fintech company, Reserve Trust. Raskin ultimately withdrew her nomination after Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) announced his opposition, essentially sinking the possibility she would be confirmed.

“These documents were directly relevant to our constitutional responsibility to evaluate Ms. Raskin’s nomination to serve as Fed Vice Chair for Supervision,” the Senators wrote. “They also are directly relevant to ongoing congressional oversight of the Fed’s approach to master account applications. The Fed’s failure to turn over these documents to the Committee, or even notify senators that they exist, has impeded the Senate’s ability to perform two of its core functions.”

After Raskin withdrew her nomination, President Biden nominated Michael Barr, who was easily confirmed.

Still, the Senators say the new information raises significant issues.

“Even though Ms. Raskin’s nomination is behind us, the issue of the Fed’s approach to master account applications is still a live and important congressional oversight issue,” the letter reads. “In fact, during the past two years, the Fed has twice solicited public comments about master account eligibility because there are significant policy questions around what entities should be able to obtain this highly valuable public good.”

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