President Barack Obama “will again nominate economist Peter Diamond to the Federal Reserve Board next year, a White House official said on Thursday, setting up a potential clash with Republicans who will have more influence in the new Senate,” Reuters reports.
The Senate scuttled Diamond’s nomination on Wednesday by failing to vote on it before adjourning a lame-duck legislative session for the year.
The Obama administration views Diamond, a Nobel prize-winning economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as extremely well qualified for the job and believes Republicans will see this too if they stick with him.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), who “will be back when the Senate reconvenes on January 5, had placed a so-called hold against confirmation of Diamond.”
Shelby applied the same tactic to delay confirmation of Obama’s choice to head the regulatory body that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Joseph Smith, the North Carolina commissioner of banks. Smith’s nomination also was killed by Senate inaction.
The only way Obama’s Democrats in the Senate could have gotten around the holds was to muster 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, but they were unable to do so.
White House officials “provided no details on whether they will try to revive Smith’s nomination to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”
Senator Shelby is currently the Ranking Member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.