President Biden’s plans to remake the Federal Reserve by nominating five of its seven governors hit a roadblock on Tuesday as Republicans on the Senate committee that sits at the center of the confirmation process moved to delay a vote on the picks.
Mr. Biden has renominated Jerome H. Powell as Fed chair and has tapped Lael Brainard, a current Fed governor, as vice chair. He also has nominated the economists Lisa D. Cook and Philip N. Jefferson as governors and Sarah Bloom Raskin, a longtime Washington policymaker and lawyer, as the new vice chair for bank supervision.
All five potential officials were scheduled to face a vote before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday afternoon, which would have put them on track for a confirmation vote before the full Senate if they passed.
But Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, said on Tuesday that he and other Republicans would block the process. Mr. Toomey’s office said in a statement that he and his colleagues had decided not to show up to the vote, which cannot proceed without a majority of lawmakers present.
The maneuver is the latest step in an opposition campaign by Mr. Toomey against Ms. Raskin, who would serve as the nation’s top bank cop if confirmed.
“Until basic questions have been adequately addressed, I do not think the committee should proceed with a vote on Ms. Raskin,” Mr. Toomey said in the statement.
A spokesperson for the Senate Banking Committee acknowledged that the Republican push would likely delay the process but suggested that it did not spell outright defeat for any of the nominations. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio and the chair of the Banking Committee, suggested he was still going to try to hold a vote, though it was unclear whether that would work.
“I’m hopeful that at least one of them shows up,” Mr. Brown said of the Republicans.
Mr. Toomey has criticized Ms. Raskin for past comments on climate-related regulation, calling them disqualifying, and more recently has zeroed in on her work for a financial company in between her government stints. Mr. Toomey and his colleagues have said that Ms. Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, contacted the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on behalf of Reserve Trust, a financial technology company for which she served as a board member. Reserve Trust managed to secure a strategically important account with the Fed while she was on its board.
While the Kansas City Fed has insisted that it followed its protocol in granting Reserve Trust’s master account, and nothing Ms. Raskin did appears to have been against government rules, Mr. Toomey has resisted her confirmation, asking for more information.
“Important questions about Ms. Raskin’s use of the ‘revolving door’ remain unanswered largely because of her repeated disingenuousness with the committee,” Mr. Toomey said in his statement.
Mr. Brown said on Monday that he did not know what the next steps would be if Republicans boycotted the vote.
“If Republicans are as concerned as they say about combating inflation, they should want a full Federal Reserve Board in place,” Mr. Brown said.