The Biden administration said Friday it intends to nominate Michael S. Barr, a professor of law and a former Obama administration official, as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve to oversee it.
The location – one of America’s top financial regulatory spots – has proven to be a particularly thorny one to fill.
The administration’s primary nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, failed to win Senate confirmation after Republicans overseeing climate-related financial oversight took issue with her writing and seized on her limited answers about her private-sector work. West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III, joining Republicans in deciding not to support him, lost his chances.
Mr. Barr, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, may also face the challenge of gaining widespread support. He was a leading contender for the post of currency controller but was opposed by the Progressive Democrats.
Some allegations centered around his work in government: As a Treasury official during the Obama administration, Mr. Barr played a key role in consolidating the Dodd-Frank Act, which restructured fiscal control after the 2008 financial crisis. But some have said he opposes some particularly drastic measures for the big banks.
When his name came up for the post, other opponents looked at him Private sector work With the financial technology and cryptocurrency industries.
But President Biden has described Mr. Barr as a worthy candidate who will bring years of experience to the job.
“The bar has strong support across the political spectrum,” the president said in a statement announcing the decision. He noted that Mr Barr had been confirmed in his Treasury post “on a bilateral basis”.
Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherd Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement that “I support this original nominee, and I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their personal attack and the old playbook of demagoguery.”
Ian Katz, managing director of research and advisory firm Capital Alpha, puts Mr Barr’s chances of confirmation at 60 per cent. “I see Barr as much more moderate than Sarah Bloom Raskin,” Mr. Katz wrote in a note before the announcement, but speculated that Mr. Barr may have been chosen.
Mr. Barr has completed the slate of candidates for Mr. Biden for five vacant positions at the Central Bank.
Other picks – Jerome H. Powell will run for another term in the Fed Chair, Lel Brainard for the Vice Chair, and Lisa D. Cook and Philip N. Jefferson is waiting for confirmation for the Board of Governors seats These nominations have passed the Senate Banking Committee, the first step towards confirmation, and a vote is expected before the full Senate in the coming weeks.
Mr Biden said he would work with the committee to get Mr Barr through his first vote quickly, and he called on others to make sure quickly.