By Brandon Moseley
President Joseph R. Biden’s (D) nominee to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Saule Omarova, sent a letter to Biden informing him that her nomination was “untenable.”
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) was a staunch opponent of Omarova’s Senate confirmation.
“I advocated early on that Saule Omarova withdraw her nomination, and I am very relieved to learn that she has done so,” Shelby said on social media. “Her views are far too radical for someone nominated to serve as our nation’s top banking regulator.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL04) said, “Her views were too far to the left for even most Democrats. She had previously advocated for banks being eliminated and your money would just be held by the federal government. And then, surprise surprise, the federal government would decide what you could use your money for. Her withdrawal from consideration is a victory for all Americans and for liberty and freedom.”
Some Republicans accused Omarova of being a communist.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said of Omarova:
“The banking regulator they put forward, she really is a radical,” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “She literally trained in the Soviet Union. She’s argued for nationalizing the banks, having the federal government take over all of the banks in America, and she wants to bankrupt companies across the country.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) denounced GOP criticism of Omarova.
“Professor Omarova, I think I know why you're being attacked so viciously,” Warren said. “These banks want to avoid accountability, and they certainly want to avoid personal liability for their executives. And they're willing to do whatever it takes to block you.”
Warren called opposition to Omarova “a vicious smear campaign.”
The choice of Omarova was universally opposed by Senate Republicans, and some moderate Democrats expressed reservations on confirming the Cornell Professor, dooming the nominee’s confirmation hopes.
“I have accepted Saule Omarova’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,” Biden wrote in a statement. “I nominated Saule because of her deep expertise in financial regulation and her long-standing, respected career in the private sector, the public sector, and as a leading academic in the field. She has lived the American dream, escaping her birthplace in the former Soviet Union and immigrating to America, where she went on to serve in the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush and now works as a professor at Cornell Law School.”
Biden went on to say Omarova has been a strong advocate for consumers and that she would have brought a lot to the table.
“But unfortunately, from the very beginning of her nomination, Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale," Biden said. "I am thankful to Chairman Brown for giving her a fair hearing and the opportunity to demonstrate her qualifications.”
Omarova said she will remain invested in the Biden administration's vision.
Biden now must make another nomination for the powerful position.