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U. S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, addressing the Louisiana House earlier this year.

U. S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, on Thursday grilled President Joseph Biden's nominee  for Comptroller of the Currency for what Kennedy called her past membership in a communist organization.

The nominee is Saule Omarova, who national reports say was born in Kazakhstan, which was part of the Soviet Union.

During a committee hearing, Kennedy said Omarova was a member of the Leninist Communist Young Union of the Russian Federation, which he said was commonly referred to as the Young Communists.

Omarova replied "this was many, many years ago," according to a transcript provided by Kennedy's office.

The senator's office also provided links that it said show Omarova has said she wants the fossil industry to go bankrupt in order to credibly battle climate change and that she praised the former U.S.S.R. for its lack of any gender pay gap.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday moderate Democrats hold the key to her nomination, and that she came under fire from two of them Thursday on her past writing on bank oversight.

Backers call Omarova an accomplished banking expert who will stand up to the industry and that Washington regulators have been too deferential to large banks in the past, according to the paper.

     

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.