'Actual McCarthyism': GOP senator slammed after insinuating Biden’s pick for currency comptroller is a communist

'Actual McCarthyism': GOP senator slammed after insinuating Biden’s pick for currency comptroller is a communist
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Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is facing criticism for his interrogation of Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's pick for Comptroller of the Currency.

On Thursday, November 18, Omarova appeared for a hearing to discuss her nomination to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). During that hearing, Kennedy and other Republican lawmakers revisited Omarova's past from her time in the Soviet Union, even pressuring her to provide a copy of a thesis she'd written nearly 40 years ago before immigrating to the United States.

At one point, Kennedy said, "you used to be a member of a group called The Young Communists." In response, Omarova explained the group was an educational requirement in the Soviet Union.

Instead of focusing on Omarova's expertise and her track record of success, Kennedy continued to press her about her years in grade school, even saying, "I don't know whether to call you 'professor' or 'comrade.'"

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Omarova responded saying, "I'm not a communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born."

Kennedy's remarks have been criticized by Democratic lawmakers and Twitter users who viewed his exchange with Omarova. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) slammed "Marxist boogeyman" Kennedy as he described the Republican senator's actions as "McCarthyism."

"Professor Saule Omarova is one of the most qualified nominees we've EVER had to be Comptroller of the Currency," Brown tweeted. "Yet Senate Republicans have turned an accomplished woman into a Marxist boogeyman. This is what happens when Trumpism meets McCarthyism.'"

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Other Twitter users came to Omarova's defense. One person tweeted, " Dr. Saule Omarova is a professor at Cornell Law School. Her expertise is Corporate Law and Financial Regulation. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. Most of us would call her professor."



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