Senate Banking Committee Advances Controversial Nominees

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The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday advanced one nominee who backs defunding the police and another that advocates for the Green New Deal.

The Senate Banking Committee advanced Solomon Greene, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) nominee, as well as Jared Bernstein, a Biden confidante and the nominee to be the next White House chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the chair of the committee, who is up for reelection in 2024, praised Bernstein in his opening statement on Thursday as an”exceptionally qualified economist with decades of experience.” Brown said that Greeen is “well-qualified.”

Greene has called for defunding law enforcement and the National Association of Police Organizations as well as the National Sheriffs’ Association have urged senators to oppose his nomination over his anti-police rhetoric.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said on Thursday that Bernstein, if confirmed, would be the “most extreme” chair of the Council of Economic Advisers:

Bernstein has supported the Green New Deal, higher gas taxes, a wealth tax, and tying Federal Reserve policy to the black unemployment rate.

He also supports:

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, urged the Senate Banking Committee to block Bernstein over his radical environmental beliefs.

He wrote:

In October of 2019, Mr. Bernstein wrote an article for Axios on energy and climate that praised the Green New Deal—a plan so radical no Senate Democrats could bring themselves to support it when it came to a vote that March. He wrote that “Fossil fuels are severely underpriced.” Because of the policies he has advocated since joining the Biden Administration, Mr. Bernstein has gotten his wish—higher fuel prices.

The week his Axios article was published, the price of gasoline was $2.74 a gallon and the price of diesel fuel was $3.05 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Today families and businesses pay more than a dollar extra per gallon. It doesn’t end there. Heating oil is more expensive. Propane is more expensive. Natural gas is more expensive. Electricity is more expensive.

During his testimony before your committee, Mr. Bernstein said he could not recall whether he recommended denying the Keystone XL pipeline a presidential permit. He is on record opposing the pipeline. In a 2011 blog post on the pipeline, he quoted approvingly climate activist Bill McKibbon’s idea that “Stopping Keystone will buy time.” If that does not happen, he wrote, “then oil from the tar sands will flow, and it will keep flowing until we put a price on carbon or come to our senses, whichever comes first.”

Bernstein argued that a higher gas tax essentially amounts to a “carbon tax.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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