July 13, 2022

Brown Urges Support For Michael Barr Ahead of Confirmation Votes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, called on his colleagues to support the nomination of Mr. Michael Barr to be a Member and the Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. After Barr is confirmed, the Federal Reserve will be fully staffed for the first time in nearly a decade.

Video of Senator Brown’s remarks is available here.

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the nomination of Michael Barr to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Vice Chair for Supervision. 

Mr. Barr is a qualified nominee who came out of the Banking Committee with strong bipartisan support. Five Republicans, including Ranking Member Toomey, and all twelve Democrats supported Mr. Barr’s nomination.

And it’s evident why.

Mr. Barr is a leading expert with decades of experience on financial institutions and financial regulation.

He currently serves as the dean for public policy and a professor of law at the University of Michigan. He previously served at the Departments of Treasury and State, as well as at the White House.

At the Treasury Department as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, Mr. Barr played a critical role in responding to the 2007-2008 financial crisis, when Wall Street greed and risk-taking crashed our economy.

In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act.  Among many steps the legislation took to prevent another crisis like the one that our country experienced, was to establish the position to which Mr. Barr has now been nominated.

The Vice Chair for Supervision was created to identify and stay ahead of risks to our country’s financial system – like cyber threats, volatile cryptocurrency, or the climate crisis – and hold the biggest banks accountable so that Wall Street doesn’t put working families and businesses on Main Street at risk again.

As he stated in testimony before the Banking Committee, Mr. Barr has dedicated over 25 years of his career working to make our financial system safer and fairer. He has focused on developing and evaluating financial regulatory policies, and most importantly, he has a keen understanding of the type of risks that pose threats to our financial stability.

And Mr. Barr will join the Fed Board of Governors at a critical time for our economy, maintaining Federal Reserve independence along the way.

In response to questions for the record, Mr. Barr told me this “[i]ndependence is critical for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out its congressional mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability. Politics should play no role in setting monetary policy… I am committed, if confirmed, to adhere strictly to a non-political, data-driven, independent approach to policy making.”

I support Mr. Barr’s nomination to this critical role. Once confirmed, we will finally have a full Federal Reserve Board with all seven members—for the first time in close to a decade.

I urge the rest of my colleagues to support Mr. Barr’s nomination.