May 24, 2021

Toomey Expands Review of Woke Mission Creep by Regional Federal Reserve Banks

Demands Minneapolis, Boston, & Atlanta Fed Turn Over Docs on “Racial Justice” Activism

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is expanding his review of the increasing focus on politically-charged issues, like global warming and racial justice, by regional Federal Reserve Banks. He has requested briefings and documents from the Minneapolis, Boston, and Atlanta regional Federal Reserve Banks on their recent “racial justice” activism, an activity that is outside the bounds of the Fed’s mission and statutory mandate.

Pointing to the regional banks’ joint Racism and the Economy series, Senator Toomey wrote in letters to regional bank Presidents Neel Kashkari (Minn.), Eric Rosengren (Boston), and Raphael Bostic (Atlanta):

“Of course, racism is abhorrent and has no place in our society . . . . I recognize the interest in studying economic disparities along demographic lines, such as race and gender. However, this subject matter is fraught with ideological assumptions and interpretations, and the work and analysis of the [Minneapolis/Boston/Atlanta] Fed seems heavily laden with political and value judgments.”

As the Ranking Member noted, the Fed’s mission and statutory mandate is nonpartisan, independent, and restricted to monetary and regulatory policy duties. However, the Fed has recently been engaging in mission creep, devoting federal resources to political advocacy.

“Whether or not this is your personal view, I would remind you that only Congress has the authority to reform the Federal Reserve or modify its statutory mission.  Moreover, I would caution you on the reputational damage being inflicted on the [Minneapolis/Atlanta/Boston] Fed and the Federal Reserve as a whole by pursuing a highly politicized social agenda unrelated to monetary policy.”

Senator Toomey first expressed concern on the “sudden and alarming” shift by regional Federal Reserve Banks towards work of a “bitterly partisan nature” in March, requesting documents and a briefing from the San Francisco Fed.

The Ranking Member’s letters to the Minneapolis, Boston and Atlanta regional Fed banks request a number of documents by June 7, 2021, and briefings no later than the week of June 7, 2021.