Joe Manchin, who's made millions from coal, is blocking Joe Biden's climate-friendly Fed nominee

Manchin's party, meanwhile, has widely touted Sarah Bloom Raskin's pedigree

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published March 15, 2022 9:36AM (EDT)

Sarah Bloom Raskin and Joe Manchin (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Sarah Bloom Raskin and Joe Manchin (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Monday came out against the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin for a top position on the Federal Reserve, saying that he's "unable" to support Raskin over her stance on inflation and energy costs. 

"I have carefully reviewed Sarah Bloom Raskin's qualifications and previous public statements," Manchin said in a statement. "Her previous public statements have failed to satisfactorily address my concerns about the critical importance of financing an all-of-the-above energy policy to meet our nation's critical energy needs,"

"I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to support her nomination to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board," the senator added. 

Raskin, who President Biden nominated in January to be the Fed's next vice chair for supervision, served as the deputy secretary of treasury under former President Obama. She is also a former Fed governor. 

RELATED: Joe Manchin has made $5.2M from his coal company — and gets big donations from fossil-fuel industry

Raskin is just one of four other nominees to occupy high-up vacancies at the Fed. Among those nominated include Jerome Powell, who would serve as Fed chair; Lael Brainard, who would serve as vice chair; and economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson, who were nominated for board seats.

Thus far, Republicans have stonewalled the confirmations of all five nominees. In Raskin's case, Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee have pointed to her past role on the board of a Colorado company that had direct access to a Fed master account during her tenure, according to NPR. Raksin, for her part, has denied any wrongdoing. 

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Earlier this month, NBC News reported that Senate Republicans also have a bone to pick with her stance on climate change – an issue over which Manchin has sparred with many of his progressive and Democratic colleagues. This past year, Manchin, whose family owns a coal business in West Virginia, consistently undermined several aspects of Biden's climate climate agenda, most notably by objecting to the president's signature Build Back Better framework. 

RELATED: Joe Manchin has dumb new reason for why he torpedoed Build Back Better

Meanwhile, Democrats have widely touted Raskin, claiming that her pedigree is beyond reproach.  

"[Raskin] previously served on the Board and she served as second-in-command at Treasury – both positions where she earned bipartisan Senate confirmation," said White House spokesman Chris Meagher. "She has earned widespread support in the face of an unprecedented, baseless campaign led by oil and gas companies that sought to tarnish her distinguished career. We are working to line up the bipartisan support that she deserves so that she can be confirmed by the Senate for this important position."

Both the American Bankers Association and the Financial Services Forum have issued statements supporting Raskin's nomination, according to NBC News.

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Climate Change Coal Coal Sarah Bloom Raskin Conservative Democrats Federal Reserve Joe Biden Joe Manchin