Saule Omarova, a crypto critic, withdraws her nomination for bank regulator
Saule Omarova withdrew her nomination for Comptroller of the Currency in the face of intense criticism for her stance on crypto and banking.
After President Biden’s candidate, Saule Omarova, withdrew her candidacy from the confirmation process, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the United States will operate with only an acting Comptroller for a short while longer.
President Biden responded to Saule Omarova’s withdrawal on December 7, saying, “Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale.”
The Comptroller of the Currency is in charge of overseeing the regulation of chartered banks around the country. Due to her anti-crypto attitudes, cryptocurrency stakeholders considered Omarova as a terrible fit for Comptroller.
In hearings on private banking and cryptocurrency regulation, Omarova faced heated questions from Republican and Democratic senators on The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Some Republicans, including Senator John Kennedy, emphasized Saule Omarova’s childhood in the Soviet Union.
Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis questioned Omarova about her opinion on cryptocurrencies and stablecoins at Senate hearings on Nov. 18. Omarova voiced fear that private IT businesses who deploy stablecoin infrastructure may eventually prioritize private profit-based objectives over the public need for open banking.
When asked if she thinks government-issued fiat currency is better to private business, Omarova said:
“I worry about allowing private innovation to undermine a lot of important public policies that we need to pursue.”
Republican Senator Mike Crapo pressed Omarova to clarify her stance on federally authorized institutions and climate change. She wants for the financial system to have the ability to force climate change-causing companies, which she refers to as “socially sub-optimal industries,” out of existence by blocking them from obtaining bank loans.
“The way we get rid of these carbon financers is we starve them of their source of capital,” she says.
As a result of Omarova’s withdrawal, President Biden will have to select another candidate for Comptroller.