Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key centrist, announced on Monday that he would not support Sarah Bloom Raskin for a top position on the Federal Reserve, potentially ending her chances for confirmation amid a Republican blockade.
Without Republican support in the evenly divided Senate, Democrats need all 50 senators who caucus with their party to vote in favor of Ms. Raskin for her to become the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision. Republicans have so far stonewalled her nomination in committee, citing concerns about her position on climate regulation and her work in the private sector.
Mr. Manchin, who has close ties to the fossil fuel industry and has rejected much of President Biden’s climate agenda, cited concerns about her statements on climate and energy policy, and pointedly noted that the board “is not an institution that should politicize its critical decisions.”
“Her previous public statements have failed to satisfactorily address my concerns about the critical importance of financing an all-of-the-above energy policy to meet our nation’s critical energy needs,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement. “I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to support her nomination to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board.”
He added that, “the Federal Reserve Board must remain hyper-focused on ending the inflation taxes hurting working families and getting more workers off the sidelines and back into the economy.”
It is unclear whether Ms. Raskin, a former Fed governor and Obama administration official, has the votes to clear the Senate without Mr. Manchin’s support. The White House vowed to press ahead with her nomination, with a spokesman emphasizing Ms. Raskin’s qualifications and outside support.
“She has earned widespread support in the face of an unprecedented, baseless campaign led by oil and gas companies that sought to tarnish her distinguished career,” said Chris Meagher, a spokesman for the White House. “We are working to line up the bipartisan support that she deserves, so that she can be confirmed by the Senate for this important position.”
Lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee have been at loggerheads over Ms. Raskin’s nomination. Republicans have boycotted a hearing that would let committee Democrats advance an entire slate of key banking nominations, including the renomination of Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, over objections to Ms. Raskin’s selection.