Five Democratic senators reportedly oppose the nomination of Saule Omarova to head the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, dooming her chances to head one of the most powerful financial regulatory agencies in the U.S.
The far-left law professor has advocated for eliminating private-sector banking and treating all businesses as franchises of the U.S. government. She has said that bankrupting small oil and gas companies should be welcomed, a statement she later recanted.
Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) held a phone call with Senate Banking Committee chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Wednesday night to announce their opposition to Omarova’s confirmation, Axios reported Wednesday night. According to Axios, Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ.) also oppose her nomination.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also objected to the pick, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board.
Republicans, led by ranking member Pat Toomey (R-PA), were severely critical of the nominee at a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee last week. Senator Toomey took her to task for her papers and statements that advocated forcibly transferring all bank accounts to the Federal Reserve and other far-left schemes. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said he wasn’t sure if he should call Omarova “comrade or professor.”
“There’s a lot that’s extraordinary and radical here—but maybe the heart of it is that Ms. Omarova doesn’t just want tightened regulation of banks. What she wants to, and I quote—this is her words—‘effectively end banking as we know it.’ Those are words she wrote just last year,” Toomey said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Sen. Tester said at that hearing that he had ‘significant concerns about her nomination. Other Democrats, including Brown, attempted to tar opposition to the Soviet-born Omarova as xenophobic “red-baiting.” Brown said GOP opposition was what it looks like when “McCarthyism meets Trumpism.”
Although she claimed to be a defender of community banks and a critic of Wall Street, the Independent Community Bankers of America and 41 state banking associations, which represent thousands of community banks, urged Senate Banking members to oppose Saule Omarova’s confirmation.
With an evenly divided Senate and unanimous opposition from Republicans, the opposition of five Democrats dooms Omarova’s nomination.