President Biden's nominee for governor of the Federal Reserve, Lisa Cook, is a "hyper-partisan" who has a history of tweeting support for Democrats and the defund the police movement, Senate Republicans said Monday.
Republicans on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee issued a series of tweets Monday highlighting multiple tweets and retweets that they argue demonstrate political bias Cook, a Michigan State University professor whom Biden nominated last month for governor of the Fed.
"We’ve seen what happens when politics infects a respected apolitical financial regulator," the official @BankingGOP account tweeted Monday. "We shouldn’t want what happened to the FDIC to happen at the Fed, which already is seeing its credibility threatened by policy ideas/activity foreign to its mandate."
"That's why it's important to examine the prior statements of @drlisadcook," it continued. "For years, Prof. Cook has used her Twitter account to engage in partisan political fights, taking extreme Left-wing positions on issues, especially noneconomic topics. … Can the Fed afford a hyper-partisan like @drlisadcook? She’s used her platform to advocate for activist politicians, promote radical hyperbole, and malign those who disagree with her far Left views."
The tweets highlighted by the committee include Cook’s June 2020 retweet of a pro-#DefundThePolice message by filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
That same month, Cook tweeted that "free speech has its limits" and it "should not be used to spread hatred and violate the dignity of other people."
On Aug. 28, 2020, she retweeted Michael McFaul saying the RNC Convention had a lot of "familiar messages, symbols and methods" to "those of us who study autocracies," according to a screenshot posted by Republicans.
On Sept. 20, 2020 she retweeted Ben Rhodes saying, "The ‘Green Party’ has done incalculable damage to the environment by helping to elect Republican presidents twice. Don’t fall for it again."
On Nov. 8, 2020, Cook responded, "Well said," to a tweet by Janelle Jones saying President Biden "will try to keep the planet alive" and "will listen to scientists."
On Nov. 9, 2020, she retweeted Stacey Abrams celebrating the fundraising numbers for then-Senate candidates Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
"This begs the question," the @BankingGOP account continued. "Will @drlisadcook respect the @federalreserve's independence? Historically, the Senate has only confirmed Fed nominees who have had the good sense not to engage in political warfare with their prior statements."
"As Democrats and Republicans pointed out during the last administration, it's inappropriate for the Fed to engage in political advocacy and for its leaders to be perceived as partisan," it continued. "We hope Senators keep this in mind when considering @drlisadcook's nomination."
Cook previously came under fire for her support for reparations, the controversial proposed policy of financial compensation for Black Americans as a form of atonement for slavery and discrimination.
"Everybody benefited from slavery. Everybody," she said in a September 2020 "EconTalk" podcast. "So, I think that we absolutely need some sort of reckoning with that. There are many proposals on the table to study the possibility of reparations, many economic proposals being put forward, and I think they should all be taken seriously."
Cook endorsed a tweet in early 2020 advocating for reparations that are "race-specific, because the injury was race-specific."
Cook, who served for one year as a Treasury Department senior adviser during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, also serves on the advisory board of the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute at the Minneapolis Fed.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., previously accused that body of creating work "heavily laden with political and value judgments" and engaging in "political advocacy" that has no place in the work of a financial regulator like the Fed.
"The Minneapolis Fed increasingly has focused on politically-charged causes, like racial justice activism, that are wholly unrelated to the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate," Toomey said in a 2021 letter. He added that many of the Minneapolis Fed's works and publications are "extremely political in nature and fall well outside the mission and expertise of the Federal Reserve."
Biden, however, lauded Cook as a "talented economist with decades of experience working on a broad range of economic issues." He added that Cook and other recent Fed nominees "will bring much needed expertise, judgement and leadership to the Federal Reserve while at the same time bringing a diversity of thought and perspective never seen before on the Board of Governors."
White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher responded to the GOP committee's tweets in a statement to Fox News Digital, blasting ranking member Toomey as being on a "desperate crusade" against the Biden nominee.
"Senator Pat Toomey is on a desperate crusade to talk about literally anything other than Dr. Cook’s experience and qualifications for this position," Meagher said. "Dr. Cook is currently serving on the Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, is a Professor of Economics and International Relations, and worked at the Department of Treasury under President Bush. She respects the independence of the Fed, is extremely well-qualified for this position."
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.