GOP Senator Escalates Fight Against Pick to Lead Bank Watchdog
(Bloomberg) -- A key Republican senator is upping the ante in his campaign against the Biden administration’s pick to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a top Wall Street regulator.
Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, urged Saule Omarova in a letter to turn over a thesis she wrote on Karl Marx while she was a student at Moscow State University in the 1980s. Toomey then said Omarova might be the most “radical choice” ever to lead a federal watchdog, while implying that the OCC nominee may have intentionally removed the thesis from her official biography at Cornell Law School, where she now teaches.
“Ms. Omarova clearly knows her views are far outside of the mainstream,” He said Wednesday during a speech from the Senate floor. “How do we know? Well, why else would her most recent CV have been scrubbed of one particular item that was on her resume as recently as 2017?”
Omarova didn’t respond to a request for comment.
In his letter to Omarova, which was dated Oct. 5, Toomey asked her to turn the paper over in a “timely fashion.” He said he first requested a copy of the document, titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in ‘The Capital,’” last month so it could be translated from Russian if needed.
The OCC regulates JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and other banking giants. Omarova’s nomination has infuriated Republicans and bank lobbyists, who argue that views she’s laid out in tweets and academic papers reveal she would pursue a radical agenda. Among her most contentious statements is that she wants to “end banking as we know it,” by moving customer accounts to the Federal Reserve from private lenders. Still, she couldn’t likely pull off such a policy at the OCC.
Toomey has already blasted her candidacy, saying in a statement last month that she holds “extreme leftist ideas.” In contrast, Progressive Democrats have vocally defended Omarova, with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren commenting that she has no doubt the nominee will be a “fearless champion for consumers.”
Omarova graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 and then earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Wisconsin and a law degree at Northwestern University. Before entering academia, she worked in private practice and in the Treasury Department under the administration of President George W. Bush.
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