WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate failed to advance President Biden’s nomination of economist Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board yesterday amid the absences of two Democratic senators, delaying her historic appointment to the Fed’s seven-member board of governors. As highlighted in a recent report by government watchdog Accountable.US, Cook’s journey as the first Black woman to be nominated for the Board reflects the broader trend of Biden’s nominees of color, particularly women of color, to key posts often facing a much slower path toward Senate confirmation than his white male nominees.
The failure to move Lisa Cook’s nomination swiftly through the Senate is yet another example of how President Biden’s nominees of color, particularly when they are women, continue to face obstacles and delays that his white male nominees do not,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US “Rather than support the historic confirmation of a qualified nominee, Senate Republicans shamefully chose to undermine Cook and weaken the Fed’s ability to fight inflation for working families.”
Since her nomination in January, Cook has faced opposition from Senate Republicans – including from Sen. Pat Tommey, who urged his conservative colleagues to obstruct her nomination and objected to Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown’s request to postpone the vote to end debate on Cook’s nomination.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: At the Department of Justice under Biden, white nominees were shown to have a faster track to being confirmed during the congressional confirmation process, with the process going about 60% faster than for nonwhite nominees. Of the five nominees who faced the longest delays, four were nonwhite.
STATE DEPARTMENT: At the State Department, white male nominees had a faster track during the congressional confirmation process relative to other groups. 75% of State nominees were white, with 25% nonwhite, and there were 27% more male than female nominees. White males fared the best in terms of the timeframe to receive confirmation, going 13.7% faster than nonwhite females, 11% faster than white females, and 7% faster than nonwhite males.
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: Across the 18 nominations for the Commerce Department, white nominees (male and female) received a 37% faster track to receiving a congressional hearing – at 53.3 days to 73.3 days for nonwhite nominees – and a similar 55% faster track through the overall process.
ENERGY DEPARTMENT: Across the 12 nominations for the Department of Energy, male nominees (white and nonwhite) received a congressional hearing twice as fast as their female counterparts – at 32.5 days vs. 66 days.
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT: Across the 11 nominations for the Department of the Interior, male nominees (white and nonwhite) received a congressional hearing twice as fast – 32.5 days vs. 66 days for female nominees.