We speak with Rep. Jamie Raskin about his wife Sarah Bloom Raskin’s grilling by a Senate panel Thursday over her qualifications to be President Biden’s nominee for the top bank regulator, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Republicans argue her past comments on climate change show she could use her position to discourage banks from lending to fossil fuel companies. Raskin said if she was confirmed, she would not be able to take such actions. “What they’re attacking is the idea there can be citizens who are fully aware of climate change and take it seriously, who can serve honorably and lawfully in other capacities,” says Rep. Raskin. “It is just an outrageous attack on her qualifications.” We’re also joined by “Love & the Constitution” director Madeleine Carter, whose film premieres Sunday.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Congressmember Raskin, could you comment on the hearing yesterday around your wife being confirmed to the Federal Reserve? The Washington Post described, “Sarah Bloom Raskin is championed by Democrats eager to install a bank regulator with a focus on climate change, and criticized by Republicans who don’t believe climate change belongs in conversations about the financial system or economic stability.” It was a serious grilling in the Senate Banking Committee.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Right. And, well, let’s just say this. I wasn’t there, and I had some hearings of my own, so I only caught parts of it. But Sarah has been unanimously or near unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in bipartisan fashion twice, as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board and also as deputy secretary of the United States Treasury. So none of this is about her qualifications to serve, obviously, because the Senate itself has approved and confirmed her two times before.
All of this is about things that she has said or written about climate change. She has said, of course, that she will follow the law and act completely within the dual mandate of the Fed. But what they’re attacking is the idea that there can be citizens who are fully aware of climate change, who take it seriously, who can serve honorably and lawfully in other capacities. It’s just an outrageous attack on her qualifications, of course. But she’s tough. But on just the idea that you can even be cognizant of climate change and serve in different governmental functions, it’s an amazing thing.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, husband of Sarah Bloom Raskin, member of the House select committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection, lead impeachment manager in President Trump’s second impeachment trial. Jamie Raskin’s new book is Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy. I also want to end by asking Madeleine Carter, the director of the new MSNBC documentary Love & the Constitution, which is premiering Sunday night, what you want people to take away from and why you named the film Love & the Constitution.
MADELEINE CARTER: Well, what I want people to take away is that one person can make a difference. I mean, Jamie is making a huge difference in democracy and in saving constitutional democracy, but one person can make a difference just by driving a neighbor to the polls. So, there’s plenty of work to be done by all of us. So, that’s my main message.
And then, in terms of naming it Love & the Constitution, I actually thought of that title at about 2 a.m. one morning in October, because that really describes what the film is about. The film is about Jamie’s love for his son, obviously, but Jamie’s love for the Constitution and for American democracy is really what’s helping him get through this terrible, life-changing loss of Tommy.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you so much for being with us, Madeleine Carter, and congratulations on this film. Again, it will appear on MSNBC 10:00 Eastern time on Sunday night and then move on to Peacock.
This is Democracy Now! Next up, we go to Chicago, where protests erupted Thursday over the early release of the ex-police officer Jason Van Dyke, who murdered 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014, shooting him to death 16 times. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: “American Skin (41 Shots)” by Bruce Springsteen, the song inspired by the New York police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. On this day in 1999, February 4th, Amadou Diallo was killed in a hail of police bullets after cops mistook his wallet for a gun. Four officers fired 41 times, fatally hitting the 23-year-old Ghanaian immigrant 19 times.