Obama taps Republican and Democrat for Fed posts

President Barack Obama nominated one Republican and one Democrat on Tuesday to economic policy positions at the Federal Reserve.

Jeremy SteinThe move is considered by some political analysts as an attempt to break the political gridlock that has stymied the White House’s nominees to appointed positions, according to

Due to lack of cooperation from Senate Republicans, several nominees sent from the president have been blocked, including MIT professor Peter Diamond to the Fed and Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Republicans have defended their actions and said their filibusters are no different than Democratic filibusters during the George W. Bush administration.

The Republican recently tapped by Obama to serve on the Fed, Jerome “Jay” Powell, previously served as a Treasury Department official under Bush, reports.

Powell’s Republican ties are not unconditional. In May he said that he disagreed with the Republican strategy of threatening to oppose an increase in the U.S. debt limit unless Democrats agreed to make spending cuts, according to

The Democrat nominated alongside Powell is Harvard University professor Jeremy Stein. Stein served in the Obama White House and in the Treasury.

Reuters’ Breakingviews columnist Martin Hutchinson called Obama’s nominations of Powell and Stein “canny.”

“He apparently balances the political parties, while nominating Powell, the Republican, only until January 2014 and Stein, the Democrat, until 2018,” Hutchinson wrote, reports. “By doing so, he challenges Senate Republicans to block the nominations and show themselves partisan and obstructive, while reserving the right to replace Powell when his term ends shortly after his own re-election.”

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