October 6, 2022

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The Biden administration said on Friday that it intended to nominate Michael S. Barr, a law professor and a former Obama administration official, to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision.

The position — one of America’s top financial regulatory spots — has proved to be a particularly thorny one to fill.

The administration’s initial nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, failed to win Senate confirmation after Republicans took issue with her writing on climate-related financial oversight and seized on her limited answers about her private-sector work. Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, joined Republicans in deciding not to support her, ending her chances.

Mr. Barr, the dean of the University of Michigan’s public policy school, could also face challenges in securing widespread support. He was a leading contender to be nominated as comptroller of the currency but ran into opposition from progressive Democrats.

Some of the complaints centered on his work in government: As a Treasury Department official during the Obama administration, Mr. Barr played a major role in putting together the Dodd-Frank Act, which revamped financial regulation after the 2008 financial crisis. But some said he opposed some especially stringent measures for big banks.

Other opponents when his name was floated for that post focused on his private-sector work with the financial technology and cryptocurrency industry.

But President Biden described Mr. Barr as a qualified candidate who would bring years of experience to the job.

“Barr has strong support from across the political spectrum,” the president said in a statement announcing the decision. He noted that Mr. Barr had been confirmed to his Treasury post “on a bipartisan basis.”

Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement, “I will support this key nominee, and I strongly urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their old playbook of personal attacks and demagoguery.”

Ian Katz, managing director at the research and advisory firm Capital Alpha, put Mr. Barr’s chance of confirmation at 60 percent. “Barr is seen by many as more moderate than Sarah Bloom Raskin,” Mr. Katz wrote in a note ahead of the announcement but after speculation that Mr. Barr might be chosen.

Mr. Barr completes Mr. Biden’s slate of candidates for the central bank’s five open positions.

The other picks — Jerome H. Powell for another term as Fed chair, Lael Brainard for vice chair, and Lisa D. Cook and Philip N. Jefferson for seats on the Board of Governors — await confirmation. Those nominations have gotten past the Senate Banking Committee, the first step toward confirmation, and a vote before the full Senate is expected in the coming weeks.

Mr. Biden said he would work with the committee to get Mr. Barr through his first vote quickly, and he called for swift confirmation of the others.