Members of both the House and Senate Banking committees criticized President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, after she withdrew her nomination.
House and Senate ranking member Republicans highlighted Omarova’s “radical” ideology regarding the American financial system after it became obvious that her nomination would not make it through the Senate.
“During the confirmation process, a bipartisan consensus emerged that professor Omarova’s self-proclaimed radical ideas for America’s financial system were not suitable for our nation’s top banking regulator,” Sen. Pat Toomey, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I hope the Biden administration will select a nominee with mainstream views about the American economy,” Toomey said.
Omarova was born in the Soviet Union, where she attended Moscow State University and wrote a thesis titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and The Theory of Revolution in the Capital.” Toomey asked Omarova to turn over the thesis to the Senate Banking Committee, which she never did.
The 55-year-old Cornell law professor garnered criticism throughout the nomination process, with many Republicans slamming her for alleged Marxist ties and calling her a “communist.”
Regarding banking policies, Omarova previously called to “‘end banking’ as we know it” by arguing for a system where private bank accounts are replaced by accounts run by the Federal Reserve.
Omarova advocated for policies to allow “helicopter drops” of money into bank accounts to improve welfare redistribution and allow the federal government to manage price control and interest rates.
“Professor Omarova was the wrong choice for the job. Her radical ideas and aspirations to ‘end banking’ as we know it concerned lawmakers on both sides of the aisle,” Rep. Patrick McHenry, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“I hope President Biden has learned from this mistake and will nominate someone who prioritizes the core mission of the OCC—supervising and managing risk in our financial system,” McHenry said.
Omarova also praised the now-defunct Soviet Union for its lack of a “gender pay gap” in 2019, and she was quoted in a Canadian documentary calling the financial services sector “the quintessential asshole industry.”
In a book titled “The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis,” Omarova praised Marxism, saying how much it changed her worldview.
Meanwhile, at least five Democratic senators reportedly stated their opposition to Omarova’s confirmation. Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jon Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Mark Kelly of Arizona reportedly told Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that they would not support Biden’s nominee.
Biden continued to support his nominee even after reports of the five Democratic senators’ disapproval, which would have made it impossible to confirm Omarova.
“The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination,” a White House official told Axios on Nov. 24.
“Saule Omarova is eminently qualified for this position,” the official added. “She has been treated unfairly since her nomination with unacceptable red-baiting from Republicans like it’s the McCarthy Era.”
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