Biden to nominate Michael Barr as Fed’s top banking regulator | CNN Business


President Joe Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate former Obama Treasury official Michael Barr as the vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve.

The announcement comes after Biden’s initial nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrew her nomination, following stiff opposition in the Senate based on her stance on climate change and fear that she could discourage banks from lending to fossil fuel companies. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined Republicans in opposing her, effectively torpedoing her nomination.

In a statement Friday, Biden touted Barr, who is currently the dean of the University of Michigan’s public policy school, for his “strong support from across the political spectrum.”

If confirmed, Barr would be the Federal Reserve’s top regulator of America’s big banks and help set monetary policy as the Fed tries to get inflation, which has reached its highest level in 40 years, under control and lower costs. Biden noted that Barr had previously been confirmed by the Senate “on a bipartisan basis” during the Obama administration.

Amid soaring inflation, the Fed in March raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 and recently signaled it’s ready to raise interest rates at a faster pace.

Barr previously served in the Obama administration as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Act.

“Barr has spent his career protecting consumers, and during his time at Treasury, played a critical role in creating both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the position for which I am nominating him. He was instrumental in the passage of Dodd-Frank, to ensure a future financial crisis would not create devastating economic hardship for working families,” Biden said in a statement Friday.

Several of Biden’s nominees to the Fed’s seven-member Board of Governors, including Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed chair, still await a vote from the Senate.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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