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Democrats Block Ernst’s Effort to Fire FDIC Chair Gruenberg

“President Biden should put his money where his mouth is and fire him.”

WASHINGTON – Following reports of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) offered a resolution on the Senate floor demanding President Biden fire FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg, which Democrats blocked, proving they are putting politics over protecting women in the workplace.

2024-06-20 FDIC Live UC

Watch her full remarks here.

Watch her push back against Democrats here.

Ernst was one of the first senators to call for FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg’s resignation. In November 2023, she followed up by conducting critical oversight of this behavior at the FDIC and demanding any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by agency employees be turned over to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and local law enforcement for potential prosecution. After a third-party investigation into the FDIC’s workplace culture, Ernst called for real consequences and the DOJ to investigate the agency from top to bottom. Even after this report, the Biden administration has refused to immediately remove FDIC Chair Gruenberg.

Ernst’s full remarks:

“I rise today to remind this body that 42 days ago, it was confirmed that Martin Gruenberg fueled a toxic workplace culture at the FDIC, yet he is still collecting a taxpayer-funded salary.

“On his first day in office, President Biden said – and I quote – ‘I’m not joking when I say this: if you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another with disrespect…I promise you I will fire you on the spot.’

“So that begs the question, did the president forget his pledge, or is he just ignoring it?

“Well, President Biden, it’s time to put up or shut up.

“At Chairman Gruenberg’s FDIC, employees stalked one another.

“They sent coworkers unwanted sexual photos of themselves and others.

“They made gross, lewd, and downright sexist comments designed to belittle, intimidate, and sexualize their female coworkers.

“As the FDIC’s own hand-picked investigators stated, ‘for far too many employees and for far too long, the FDIC has failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment, discrimination, and other interpersonal misconduct.’

“Mr. President, the FDIC needs to clean up the raunchy ‘90s frat house Gruenberg has allowed to fester, and there’s no better place to start than at the top.

“Gruenberg has proven he lacks the skills, judgment, and temperament to lead the FDIC. How can someone who can’t regulate the behavior of the agency be trusted to regulate the banking industry? He can’t and that has been proven.

“Public reports say Gruenberg personally looked the other way when it came to sexism, harassment, and racial discrimination.

“Investigators determined Gruenberg himself had a reputation of – QUOTE ‘losing his temper and interacting with staff in a demeaning and inappropriate way.’

“They also claimed Gruenberg was either unable or unwilling to recognize his failures… except when the writing was on the wall.

“I am aware Gruenberg has agreed to resign, but only after the Senate confirms a replacement.

“By his own admission, Gruenberg must resign. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But TODAY!

“But we all know why he’s refusing to just quit today…

“If and when the FDIC chairmanship becomes vacant, the Vice Chair, currently a Republican, assumes the chairmanship.

“Now, President Biden has nominated someone to backfill Gruenberg, and I look forward to reviewing her record and her credentials. But we all know it will take significant time for her to go through the confirmation process and face a vote here in the Senate.

“Let us be crystal clear about what’s happening. President Biden is letting a dirtbag run the FDIC for who knows how long because he cares more about politics than protecting women in the workplace.

“Mr. President, integrity means doing the right thing when no one is looking. At this turbulent time, the FDIC deserves a leader who acts with integrity, and Gruenberg’s conduct doesn’t fit the bill.

“Simply put, the time has come to turn the page on Martin Gruenberg.

“President Biden should put his money where his mouth is and fire him.

“But since Biden doesn’t seem to remember his OWN pledge, it is the responsibility of the Senate to remind him of it.”