Submitted by Elizabeth Vaughn,
It's hard to imagine President Joe Biden nominating a more dangerous candidate to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency than Cornell University Law School professor Saule Omarova.
Even before a video emerged of the far left, Kazakh-born Omarova saying the fossil-fuel industry needed to go bankrupt to tackle climate change surfaced, most politicos thought she was a radical choice.
Biden nominee Saule Omarova saying the quiet part out loud. On the oil, coal and gas industries:— BidenNoms, A Project of AAF (@bidennoms) November 9, 2021
"We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change." pic.twitter.com/luMR2HEMK9
Last week, we learned that she supports the centralization of consumer banking - at the Federal Reserve.
Speaking at a Senate Banking Committee hearing a week ago, ranking member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said, "In 'The People’s Ledger,' a paper she published just last month, she outlined her plan for nationalizing retail banking. Under her plan, central bank accounts fully replace—rather than uneasily co-exist with—private bank deposits.”
"In other words," he explained, "you couldn’t have an account with your local community bank. Your money would be held by the government at the Federal Reserve."
(Read Toomey's full remarks here.)
Prior to last Thursday's hearing, Republican senators were unanimously opposed to Omarova's confirmation, and three Democratic Senators were on the fence.
On Wednesday, Axios reported that five Democratic senators now refuse to support her candidacy, "effectively killing her nomination for the powerful bank-regulator position."
According to the report, Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), all of whom are members of the Senate Banking Committee, told committee chair Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (who supports Omarova), they opposed her confirmation.
Rounding out the five are Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
A previous Axios report said that centrist Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) had expressed his reservations about Omarova to the White House, however, his position was not mentioned in this particular report.
Axios' Hans Nichols writes: "Biden officials also have heard directly from the senators. They're aware of their deep opposition and know Omarova faces nearly impossible odds for confirmation. Still, they continue to back her publicly."
"The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination," a White House official told Nichols. "Saule Omarova is eminently qualified for this position. She has been treated unfairly since her nomination with unacceptable red-baiting from Republicans like it’s the McCarthy era."
Omarova's supporters have derided the Republicans' portrayal of her as a communist. A recent headline in The Guardian read, "Republicans go full red scare on Soviet-born Biden pick."
The article cited the ever-amusing Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), a member of the Senate Banking Committee. Addressing Omarova at the hearing, he said, “I don’t mean any disrespect: I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”
She replied, “Senator, I’m not a communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born."
When a nominee talks about bankrupting the fossil fuel industry and centralizing Americans' bank accounts, I think it's safe to say we're getting pretty close to communist territory.
There was also the issue of a 1995 arrest for stealing $214 worth of merchandise from a T. J. Maxx store in Madison, Wisconsin. Omarova was 28 at the time. And while the allegation is 25 years old, given the choice between a comptroller of the currency candidate with a clean record and Omarova, I would choose the former.
She has openly endorsed government price controls, a point Sen. Toomey addressed on the Senate floor last month.
Toomey sounded the alarm over Omarova's plan to "have the federal government set price controls for large sectors of the U.S. economy, including food, gas, wages, and home prices." He noted that she “has been celebrated on the far left for promoting ideas she herself has described as radical,” such as her support for “effectively end[ing] banking as we know it.”
Fears are that Omarova will seek a larger role for the federal government in its oversight of the banking industry.
Additionally, graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 before coming to the U.S. At MSU, she wrote a thesis entitled, "Karl Marx's Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital." The fact that she refuses to provide the Senate Banking Committee with a copy of this paper speaks volumes.
“All nominees within the Committee’s jurisdiction are required to provide their writings, articles, and papers," Sen. Toomey told colleagues.
"Unfortunately, Professor Omarova appears to believe she is exempt from these rules.”
“In order for lawmakers to fully and fairly consider Professor Omarova’s nomination to serve as our nation’s top banking regulator, we need a complete picture of her policy positions," he said.
"The fact that she recently deleted references to her thesis begs the question: What is she hiding?”
Do we really want this woman in control of the U.S. banking industry?
In a word, Nyet!
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