Saule Omarova, a Kazakh-born law professor at Cornell University who graduated college in the USSR, is holding up against Republicans and business groups for rejecting her nomination to be comptroller of the currency. Although she visited Moscow State University on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship, she does not have Marxist sympathies.
"There is definitely a different standard applied to someone like me," Omarova told the Financial Times. "I am an easy target: an immigrant, a woman, a minority," she continued. "I don't look like your typical controller of the currency. I have a different history. I am easy to demonize and vilify."
Amanda Gonzalez Thompson, the spokeswoman for Senate Banking Committee Republicans, shot back at Omarova in a statement Thursday afternoon. She said Omarova's characterization of GOP condemnation was "a classic response from the extreme left" and that because Omarova can't keep her "bad ideas," she has gone back to attacking her critics of being "racist misogynists."
"Ms. Omarova has time to attack Republicans in an interview with the Financial Times, but she can't bother to comply with a Banking Committee requirement that nominees — regardless of their political party or ideology — submit copies of their writings," Gonzalez Thompson said. "We certainly hope she reconsiders so Senators have the information necessary to fulfill their constitutional duty to advise and consent on appointments."
Omarova's nomination attracted the rage of Republicans on Capitol Hill over some of her academic musings, including her advocating for the end of banking "as we know it."
She wrote a new paper titled "The People's Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economic," which offers a plan for "radically reshaping the basic architecture and dynamics of modern finance."
She suggests handing the Federal Reserve near-total control of the financial system. She suggests the Fed's balance sheet should be reimagined to operate as "the ultimate public platform for both modulating and allocating the flow of sovereign credit and money in the national economy."
She is also meeting scrutiny for her time at Moscow State. The ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, Sen. Pat Toomey, requested that Omarova hand over a copy of the thesis she wrote while titled Karl Marx's Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.
Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote in approving Omarova’s nomination, given that there is an even number of senators from both parties. Some business groups have actively opposed her nomination and are likely to lobby centrist Democrats to do the same.