President Joe Biden’s controversial nominee to be Comptroller for the Currency has withdrawn her candidacy due to concerns about her links to socialist policies and claims that she was a member of an online Marxist Facebook group.
In statements, Saule Omarova (a Cornell Law professor) stated that it was no longer possible for her to pursue the position. Biden accepted her resignation.
“As a strong advocate for consumers and a staunch defender of the safety and soundness of our financial system, Saule would have brought invaluable insight and perspective to our important work on behalf of the American people,” Biden said. “But unfortunately, from the very beginning of her nomination, Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale.”
After her past political views became public, both Republican and some Democratic members in Congress as well industry leaders had been calling on Biden to withdraw her nomination.
Omarova has openly suggested that her goal to reach climate change objectives includes bankrupting small oil and gas operators.
Earlier this year, Omarova stated that “a lot” of the smaller companies in the oil and natural gas and coal industries would likely go bankrupt within a short time.
The oil and gas industry provides the majority of U.S. energy supply and contributes more in taxes and jobs than any other industry in the private sector.
Omarova’s 71-page paper, published by Vanderbilt Law Review, raised serious concerns about Omarova from banking associations. In it, she proposed remaking the U.S. financial system, including abolishing private bank accounts to set up a system of only government-controlled bank accounts.
The U.S. Bank Regulations are overseen by the Comptroller for the Currency.
In her paper, Omarova proposed “replacing commercial bank reserve accounts with universally available deposit accounts” to “allow all U.S. citizens and law-abiding citizens and lawful residents, local governments, nonbanking first and non-business entities to open transactional accounts directly with the Federal Reserve, thus bypassing private depository institutions.”
Her plan would also transfer all commercial bank deposits over to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve would then be able to withdraw money from Americans’ accounts in the event of a failure to implement its monetary policies.
American Bankers Association, which represents some of the country’s largest banks and financial institutions, said that her proposal would “undermine” the important role community banks play within their communities.
ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said, “Her proposals to effectively nationalize America’s community banks, end regulatory tailoring based on risk and eliminate the dual banking system are particularly troubling.”
As of the second quarter of 2021, there were 4,791 community banks that are state-chartered in all 50 states, Bankingstrategist.com reports, representing 97% of all banks.
About half of the 2,371 are located in rural, smaller counties with a population of less than 50,000.
During a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing last month, ranking GOP member, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, said Omarova’s ideas would “devastate” community banks.
“Taken in their totality, her ideas amount to a socialist manifesto for American financial services,” he said.
Omarova, a Soviet-era student who studied at Moscow State University, was also present at the hearing. Lenin Personal Academic Scholar said that Omarova did not recall joining the Facebook group and that her family was greatly affected by communism.
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