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GOP Senators Force Fed Nominee to Quit

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TEHRAN, June 7 (ICANA) – Peter Diamond has withdrawn as a candidate for the US Federal Reserve's Board of Governors and has criticized Senate Republicans for blocking his nomination.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:22:22 AM
GOP Senators Force Fed Nominee to Quit

The Nobel Prize laureate and economics professor announced his decision in an Op-Ed article published in the New York Times on Monday, after he had waited more than a year for a Senate vote.

“We should all worry about how distorted the confirmation process has become, and how little understanding of monetary policy there is among some of those responsible for its Congressional oversight,” he wrote in his article.

Diamond criticized Senate Republicans for questioning his qualifications and describing his expertise in labor economics as irrelevant to decisions about monetary policy.

“Understanding the labor market -- and the process by which workers and jobs come together and separate -- is critical to devising an effective monetary policy,” he wrote.

In a statement issued on Monday, the White House also expressed deep disappointment at Diamond's early withdrawal but promised to present a new nominee as soon as possible.

“We are deeply disappointed that this candidate, who had initially seen bipartisan support, fell victim to partisan obstructionism at this important time for our economic recovery,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The withdrawal leaves two empty seats on the Federal Reserve's seven-member board, which is charged with setting monetary policy together with selected presidents of the Fed's regional banks. The other vacancy is the position of vice chairman for supervision, which was created last year.

And there are even more empty seats in top posts of the agencies charged with renovating the US economy after the hard hit it sustained in the 2008 recession.

Comptroller of the Currency, who oversees national banks, and chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank deposits and cleans up failed banks, are other posts for which US President Barack Obama has yet to introduce nominees.

Meanwhile, the Republican camp has vowed not to endorse any nominee for the newest agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Diamond's case is seen as a battlefield for a broader fight between the White House and Congressional Republicans over the government's role in the economy.

The Fed nominee publicly supported an ongoing Fed program to stimulate growth by purchasing $600 billion in Treasury securities, a program the Republicans have been describing as a backdoor method of lending more money to the government.

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