How Fossil-Fuel Companies Are Stonewalling Sarah Bloom Raskin’s Nomination to the Fed


Because the American financial system faces market turmoil fuelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the best inflation fee in forty years, and persevering with injury from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors has develop into a ghost ship. There are a number of vacancies on the panel, and its chairman, Jerome Powell, is awaiting Senate affirmation to a second four-year time period. Final month, as a substitute of voting on the affirmation of President Biden’s slate of 5 nominees to run the world’s strongest central financial institution, the Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee staged a boycott.

The G.O.P.’s parliamentary maneuver was an virtually remarkable act of obstruction. Its goal was to deprive the Senate committee, which is break up evenly between Democrats and Republicans, of the quorum mandatory for a vote on Biden’s nominees to happen. The Republicans’ aim was to dam a single nominee: Sarah Bloom Raskin, Biden’s decide for vice-chair for supervision. Had they met to vote as scheduled, her nomination would probably have survived a party-line tie, which underneath the Senate’s present guidelines would have superior it to the Senate ground for the total physique’s consideration. As a substitute, after the twelve Republicans on the committee failed to point out up, the assembly adjourned, and the Senate quickly after went into recess. This left not simply Bloom Raskin however all 5 of Biden’s high nominees for the Fed in limbo, together with Powell.

In his State of the Union deal with on Tuesday night time, Biden demanded that the panel verify his nominees to the Federal Reserve, which, he stated, “performs a vital function in combating inflation.” The Senate Banking Committee’s chairman, Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, instructed me that he plans to convey Bloom Raskin’s nomination again up for a committee vote as quickly as potential, however up to now one hasn’t been scheduled. “We simply need them to point out up for work,” he stated of his Republican colleagues. “Within the midst of an assault, the Russians attacking Ukraine… they’re saying we’re not going to verify the chair of the Federal Reserve, the vice-chair of supervision, the vice-chair of the Fed, and the opposite two governors.” He added, “We will’t run the Senate this manner.”

A boycott to cease a vote is extraordinary underneath any circumstances, however consultants stated they had been shocked, given the magnitude of the nation’s present financial challenges. “It’s an unlimited dereliction of obligation,” Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, instructed me. Stiglitz, a progressive professor at Columbia College who has suggested Democratic presidents, harassed that “the Federal Reserve is crucial financial establishment within the U.S., and the U.S. is crucial financial system on this planet. To depart this many vacancies is simply thoughts boggling to the remainder of the world. It’s simply amazingly irresponsible.”

Democrats say the state of affairs is all of the extra confounding as a result of Bloom Raskin is way from an unvetted or untested nominee. A graduate of Harvard Regulation College and a professor of legislation at Duke College, she served a time period on the Fed’s board of governors from 2010 to 2014, to which she was confirmed with unanimous bipartisan help. She additionally served as Deputy Treasury Secretary throughout the Obama Administration, from 2014 to 2017, which made her the highest-ranking girl within the division’s historical past on the time. As well as, she is a monetary regulator who has develop into an skilled in cyber safety, which might be helpful at a second when potential Russian cyber assaults pose a menace.

Maybe as a result of she is married to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, a progressive firebrand who represents an space that conservatives have derisively known as “The Peoples’ Republic of Takoma Park, Maryland,” opponents have caricatured her as a wild-eyed radical. But her credentials and her report in workplace are in line with different monetary regulators within the U.S., together with Powell himself. And she or he has acquired scant opposition from the banking group, over which she would develop into the highest-ranking federal overseer if confirmed.

So what, precisely, is the issue? In Stiglitz’s view, “It’s quite simple: particular pursuits.” In speeches and op-ed items, Bloom Raskin has described local weather change as a possible menace to world financial safety. Furthermore, she’s personally expressed the view that the Fed ought to have resisted strain from climate-polluting fossil-fuel firms who wished pandemic-related bailouts, and as a substitute inspired a shift to renewable vitality sources. Earlier this week, a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change warned that intensifying warmth waves, droughts, and floods will have an effect on billions of individuals, in addition to animals and crops, throughout large swaths of the planet. But Democrats say America’s fossil-fuel business sees Bloom Raskin as a menace and is distorting her report in an effort to block her affirmation.

The fossil-fuel business would have seemingly little say over who runs the Federal Reserve, but it surely has donated generously to the campaigns of all twelve Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee. In line with OpenSecrets, the nonpartisan campaign-finance watchdog group, the business has contributed greater than eight million {dollars} to the collective campaigns of the dozen senators. The business seems to be utilizing this leverage to ship a message that it’s going to not tolerate the Fed, or another monetary regulators, treating local weather change as a possible systemic financial threat.

Within the Senate, one of many leaders of the opposition to Bloom Raskin has been the banking committee’s rating Republican, Patrick Toomey, of Pennsylvania. He’s the previous president of the ultra-conservative Membership For Progress, which in 2017 applauded Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris local weather accords and promised to punish any Republican in 2020 who supported a modest Home Republican local weather plan. Toomey has expressed doubt prior to now about whether or not human exercise is responsible for local weather change and has deep monetary ties to the fossil-fuel business. In campaigns for the Home and Senate stretching again during the last twenty years, he has acquired $1,071,547 from the business, which has a serious presence in his state. Between 2011 and 2016, Toomey took in $587,147 . Toomey’s spokesman, Amanda Gonzalez Thompson, denied that fossil-fuel firms had purchased the senator’s help. “It’s the laziest insult in politics to assert somebody who disagrees along with your coverage preferences is simply motivated by marketing campaign donations,” Gonzalez Thompson stated in an e-mail. “On this occasion, it’s lazy and pathetic since Senator Toomey isn’t even working for re-election.” Toomey, who’s sixty, has not stated what future employment plans he might have.

Gonzalez Thompson stated that Bloom Raskin’s views on local weather change accounted for his opposition to her nomination, however she claimed that this had nothing to do with Toomey’s boycott of the affirmation vote. She stated it was, as a substitute, as a result of Bloom Raskin has didn’t reply questions from him and different G.O.P. members to their satisfaction. Republicans have insinuated that, as a member of the board of administrators of a state-chartered belief firm referred to as Reserve Belief, Bloom Raskin improperly intervened someday in 2017 to get preferential therapy from the Federal Reserve Financial institution in Kansas Metropolis. Bloom Raskin has disclosed to the Workplace of Authorities Ethics that she offered her inventory within the firm in 2020 for $1.5 million. The Kansas Fed and a former chairman of Reserve Belief have denied any improper conduct, and Bloom Raskin has answered over 100 questions posed by Toomey. Bloom Raskin declined to remark.

Chris Meagher, a White Home spokesman, dismissed the fees as having been “conclusively debunked” and referred to as the accusations “an unprecedented, baseless marketing campaign that seeks to tarnish her distinguished profession.” He stated of Toomey, “As a substitute of merely voting no, as he has already made clear he intends to do, Toomey as a substitute is holding up the affirmation of Chair Powell and the whole slate for the Federal Reserve at a second when it’s by no means been extra vital to have management in place to make sure secure costs and preserve our robust financial restoration.”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Historic Nomination to the Supreme Court


When Choose Ketanji Brown Jackson spoke on the White Home on Friday, after President Joe Biden launched her as his nominee for the Supreme Courtroom, she thanked him for the care that he had taken in “discharging your constitutional responsibility in service of our democracy, with all that is occurring on this planet at present.” The reference was clear: nearly twenty-four hours earlier, Biden had appeared on the White Home to discuss the disastrous developments in Ukraine, with reporters asking why he hadn’t pushed Russia out of the SWIFT banking community, whether or not different international locations may be invaded subsequent, and whether or not he may actually exert any management over Vladimir Putin’s decision-making. The President had walked away from that microphone with an air of fear. This time, as Jackson spoke, Biden beamed. In introducing Jackson, who sits on the Courtroom of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he’d reminisced about his years on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the numerous nominees he’d thought of. Now he was the nominator. This was the job he’d needed, he appeared to say, and selecting somebody like Jackson was what he was elected to do.

“I rigorously studied the report of candidates,” he stated. He needed somebody who would proceed the “legacy of excellence and decency” constructed by Justice Stephen Breyer—whose pending retirement opened the way in which for Jackson—in addition to his “pragmatic understanding that the regulation should work for the American individuals.” (Jackson was as soon as Breyer’s clerk, and he has been quoted praising her as sensible.) Biden talked about different qualities: knowledge, integrity, braveness, a “ethical compass.” And he famous that the courts haven’t all the time “regarded like America” and that “I consider it’s time that we’ve a Courtroom that displays the complete abilities and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary {qualifications}.” Biden stated that he’d discovered that particular person in Jackson.

Right here, too, the reference was clear. Two years in the past, throughout a Democratic debate, Biden dedicated to nominating a Black lady to the Supreme Courtroom, ought to there be a emptiness. (No Black lady has ever served on the Courtroom; solely two Black males have.) When he stated, following Breyer’s announcement, that he would maintain that dedication, many Republicans handled it as a scandal. Their implication was {that a} certified Black lady may be laborious to search out. She’s not. Jackson’s report—as a trial and appellate-court decide, in addition to an editor of the Harvard Regulation Evaluation, a judicial clerk, a federal defender, a lawyer in personal follow, and a member of the U.S. Sentencing Fee—is properly consistent with previous nominees, and in sure methods it goes deeper. Biden famous, for instance, that Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor can be the one two Justices who had been trial court docket judges. She would even be the primary former public defender.

Though this was Jackson’s formal introduction because the nominee, she is hardly unknown. She has had high-profile instances—notably, one by which she noticed, in relation to some far-fetched Trump Administration claims about privilege, that “Presidents will not be kings.” She was, very publicly, one in every of three finalists for the job, together with Leondra Kruger, of the California Supreme Courtroom, and J. Michelle Childs, a South Carolina federal decide. (Biden had loads of good selections.) There have already been profiles of Jackson that embody interviews with one in every of her Miami high-school speech and debate teammates and her Harvard school and law-school roommates, and anecdotes about how, as a preschooler, she labored on coloring books whereas her father studied regulation—a element that Biden talked about, too. Her father grew to become the chief lawyer for the Miami-Dade faculty system, and her mom was the principal of an arts-oriented magnet highschool. Jackson met her husband, Patrick, whom she has described as a Boston Brahmin, at Harvard; on Friday, she known as him “my rock at present and daily.” (He’s a surgeon, they usually have two daughters, one in highschool and the opposite in school.) Jackson alluded to the media’s scrutiny in her remarks, saying, “You will have learn that I’ve one uncle who received caught up within the drug commerce and obtained a life sentence. That’s true.” Certainly, there have been in-depth tales about that uncle, whose sentence was commuted after he’d served nearly thirty years in jail. His launch got here throughout a interval, underneath President Barack Obama, by which many individuals with equally lengthy sentences obtained commutations, and Jackson’s solely involvement appears to have been referring him to a regulation agency that dealt with such instances. Nonetheless, it’s simple to foretell that Republicans will try to make a problem of it. Jackson continued, “However regulation enforcement additionally runs in my household.” Her brother was a detective in Baltimore earlier than serving within the navy; two of her uncles additionally labored in regulation enforcement, and one served because the Miami police chief. Biden quoted a press release from the Nationwide Fraternal Order of Police saying that, within the group’s view, “There may be little doubt that she has the temperament, mind, authorized expertise, and household background to have earned this appointment.”

However, if doubt can’t be discovered, there are senators able to manufacture it. The truth that Jackson is eminently certified doesn’t imply that her affirmation listening to received’t be a bonfire of dangerous religion—removed from it. She has gone by two judicial confirmations previously ten years, however the Senate has modified shortly. In 2012, after Obama nominated her to turn out to be a federal district-court decide, one of many individuals who launched her at her hearings was then Consultant Paul Ryan, who’s a relative of hers by marriage. (Her husband’s twin brother is married to Ryan’s spouse’s sister.) “I’m right here to function a personality witness,” Ryan advised the senators. “Now, our politics could differ, however my reward for Ketanji’s mind, for her character, for her integrity—it’s unequivocal. She is an incredible particular person, and I favorably suggest your consideration.” Her affirmation was delayed because the Senate waited for the end result of that yr’s Presidential election, however she ultimately went by on a voice vote (which means that there was no roll name). Between these hearings and now, Ryan was the Vice-Presidential nominee on Mitt Romney’s shedding 2012 ticket, grew to become Speaker of the Home, was mocked by Trump, endorsed Trump, struggled with Trump, compromised with Trump, and left politics—diminished, like so a lot of his colleagues, by Trump. When the Senate thought of Jackson’s nomination for the D.C. Courtroom of Appeals, in 2021, solely three Republicans voted for her: Susan Collins, of Maine; Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska. Romney, now a Utah senator, voted no.

Graham, who likes to brag about his willingness to vote for Democratic appointees—in a notable rant in the course of the Kavanaugh hearings, he stated, “Whenever you see Sotomayor and Kagan, inform them that Lindsey stated good day, as a result of I voted for them. I’d by no means do to them what you’ve accomplished to this man”—had made a degree of welcoming a possible Childs nomination. His response to Jackson’s nomination means that his curiosity in doing so could have been much less about constructing bipartisanship than about giving himself an alibi for tantrums to return. Graham tweeted that Jackson’s choice implies that “the unconventional Left has received President Biden over but once more.” That is nonsense. Graham added that “assaults by the Left on Choose Childs from South Carolina apparently labored” and that the “Harvard-Yale prepare to the Supreme Courtroom continues to run unabated”—an incoherent jumble of claims of victimhood and disparagement that’s in all probability helpful solely as a preview of assaults to return throughout Jackson’s affirmation hearings. (Kavanaugh, by the way, went to Yale.) In distinction, Consultant James Clyburn, additionally of South Carolina, whom Biden credited with serving to him win the state, and who had been Childs’s advocate, stated on Friday, in keeping with the Instances, that he needed to thank Biden not just for maintaining his promise to appoint a Black lady however “for doing it in a approach that makes all of us proud.”

Jackson could need to be confirmed with no single Republican vote. (Because the Democrats maintain fifty seats, it will require Vice-President Kamala Harris to solid the tie-breaker—and that’s assuming that Senator Ben Ray Luján, of New Mexico, returns to vote, as anticipated, after recovering from a current stroke.) The affirmation listening to will probably embody insinuations that Jackson, by aiding in submitting briefs about habeas corpus for Guantánamo prisoners when she was an assistant federal public defender, aided terrorist causes—relatively than aiding the reason for ensuring that the Structure operates for everyone. (The difficulty got here up at her earlier affirmation.) In her 2021 listening to, Senator Josh Hawley, of Missouri, tried to make Jackson’s service on a Christian faculty’s board a problem, arguing, in some convoluted approach, that it proved that Democratic senators had been hypocrites, due to how that they had questioned Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s service as a trustee of a Christian faculty—or one thing like that. Jackson’s religion, at any price, is clearly vital to her; after Biden introduced her Supreme Courtroom nomination, she opened her remarks by thanking God “for delivering me so far.”

Utah senators promise fair review after Jackson nomination


Utah Sen. Lee Mike Lee has ‘grave concerns’ about Biden’s SCOTUS nomination


WASHINGTON • President Joe Biden on Friday will nominate federal appeals court docket Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court docket, the White Home stated, making her the primary Black girl chosen to serve on a court docket that after declared her race unworthy of citizenship and endorsed segregation.

In Jackson, Biden delivers on a marketing campaign promise to make the historic appointment and to additional diversify a court docket that was made up completely of white males for nearly two centuries. He has chosen an legal professional who can be the excessive court docket’s first former public defender, although she additionally possesses the elite authorized background of different justices.

Jackson can be the present court docket’s second Black justice — Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative, is the opposite — and simply the third in historical past.

Biden deliberate to introduce Jackson in remarks on the White Home Friday afternoon, the place Jackson was additionally anticipated to talk, the White Home stated.

She would even be solely the sixth girl to serve on the court docket, and her affirmation would imply that for the primary time 4 girls would sit collectively on the nine-member court docket.

The present court docket contains three girls, considered one of whom is the court docket’s first Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Utah’s Republican senators responded to the nomination Friday morning.

Sen. Mike Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that may interview Jackson, congratulated the decide for her nomination — however added that he wasn’t with out doubts.

“I congratulate Decide Jackson on her nomination. I sit up for totally vetting Decide Jackson’s judicial document, asking questions concerning her judicial philosophy, and offering my recommendation concerning her nomination,” Lee wrote on Twitter.

“Whereas Decide Jackson and I disagree on many factors of the regulation, and I’ve grave considerations concerning the p.c she would set as a Supreme Court docket justice, equity and objectivity would be the guiding rules of my analysis,” he added.

In his personal assertion, Sen. Mitt Romney stated he regarded ahead to assembly the decide.

“One in every of my most critical constitutional obligations as a senator is to supply recommendation and consent on a Supreme Court docket nomination, and I imagine our subsequent justice should faithfully apply the regulation and our Structure —impartially and no matter coverage preferences, Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson is an skilled jurist, and I do know her historic nomination will encourage many,” Romney stated. “I sit up for assembly in particular person with Decide Jackson, totally reviewing her document and testimony, and evaluating her {qualifications} throughout this course of.”

Jackson would be part of the liberal minority of a conservative-dominated court docket that’s weighing cutbacks to abortion rights and will probably be contemplating ending affirmative motion in faculty admissions and limiting voting rights efforts to extend minority illustration.

Biden is filling the seat that will probably be vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who’s retiring on the finish of the time period this summer time.

Jackson, 51, as soon as labored as considered one of Breyer’s regulation clerks early in her authorized profession. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and for regulation college, and served on the U.S. Sentencing Fee, the company that develops federal sentencing coverage, earlier than turning into a federal decide in 2013.

Her nomination is topic to affirmation by the Senate, the place Democrats maintain the bulk by a razor-thin 50-50 margin with Vice President Kamala Harris because the tie-breaker. Occasion leaders have promised swift however deliberate consideration of the president’s nominee.

The following justice will change one of many extra liberal justices, so she wouldn’t tip the steadiness of the court docket, which now leans 6-3 in favor of conservatives.

The information comes two years to the day after Biden, then struggling to seize the Democratic presidential nomination, first pledged in a South Carolina debate to appoint a Black girl to the excessive court docket if offered with a emptiness.

“Everybody ought to be represented,” Biden stated. “We talked concerning the Supreme Court docket — I’m trying ahead to creating positive there’s a Black girl on the Supreme Court docket to verify we in actual fact get everybody represented.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin stated in a press release that the panel will “start instantly” to maneuver ahead on the nomination and that Jackson is an “extraordinary nominee.” Senators have set a tentative aim of affirmation by April 8, after they go away for a two-week spring recess. Hearings might begin as quickly as mid-March.

That timeline could possibly be difficult by quite a few issues, together with the continued developments between Russia and Ukraine and the prolonged absence of Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who suffered a stroke final month and is out for a number of weeks. Democrats would want Lujan’s vote to substantiate Biden’s choose if no Republicans assist her.

As soon as the nomination is distributed to the Senate, it’s as much as the Senate Judiciary Committee to vet the nominee and maintain affirmation hearings. After the committee approves a nomination, it goes to the Senate ground for a last vote.

Your complete course of passes via a number of time-consuming steps, together with conferences with particular person senators which can be anticipated to start subsequent week. Whereas Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed simply 4 weeks after she was nominated forward of the 2020 election, the method often takes a number of weeks longer than that.

Biden and Senate Democrats are hoping for a bipartisan vote on the nomination, nevertheless it’s unclear if they may be capable to win over any GOP senators after three bitterly partisan affirmation battles below President Donald Trump. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, considered one of three Republicans who voted to substantiate Jackson to the appeals court docket final yr, had pushed Biden to appoint a unique candidate from his house state, Decide J. Michelle Childs. He stated earlier this month that his vote can be “very problematic” if it have been anybody else, and he expressed disappointment in a tweet Friday that Biden had not nominated his most well-liked selection.

Senate Republican Chief Mitch McConnell stated he seems ahead to assembly with Jackson and “learning her document, authorized views, and judicial philosophy.” However he additionally appeared to specific skepticism, noting he voted in opposition to her a yr in the past.

Jackson was on the president’s quick listing as a possible nominee even earlier than Breyer retired. Biden and his workforce spent weeks poring over her information, interviewing her family and friends and searching into her background.

Biden has stated he was concerned about deciding on a nominee within the mould of Breyer who could possibly be a persuasive drive with fellow justices. Though Breyer’s votes tended to place him to the left of middle on an more and more conservative court docket, he ceaselessly noticed the grey in conditions that colleagues have been extra prone to discover black or white.

“Together with her distinctive {qualifications} and document of evenhandedness, Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson will probably be a Justice who will uphold the Structure and shield the rights of all People, together with the unvoiced and susceptible,” stated Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer. “The historic nomination of Decide Jackson is a vital step towards guaranteeing the Supreme Court docket displays the nation as a complete.”

As a part of his search course of, Biden, a longtime chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, additionally interviewed Childs and California Supreme Court docket Decide Leondra Kruger, in response to an individual conversant in the matter. He additionally consulted with a variety of authorized specialists and lawmakers in each events and delved deeply into the finalists’ authorized writings earlier than deciding on Jackson for the submit.

Jackson serves on the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a place that Biden elevated her to final yr from her earlier job as a federal trial court docket decide. Three present justices — Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, the chief justice — beforehand served on the identical court docket.

On Friday morning forward of the announcement, Jackson took half in scheduled arguments earlier than the circuit court docket.

Jackson was confirmed to that submit on a 53-44 Senate vote, successful the backing of three Republicans: Graham, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Graham, in a tweet, indicated displeasure with the nomination, saying, “I anticipate a respectful however fascinating listening to within the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Bipartisanship is essential to Biden, who has usually stated he was reaching for GOP assist as he closed in on a nominee. One other GOP connection: Jackson is said by marriage to former Home Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

In considered one of Jackson’s most high-profile choices, as a trial court docket decide she ordered former White Home Counsel Don McGahn to seem earlier than Congress. That was a setback to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to maintain his high aides from testifying. The case was appealed, and a deal was in the end reached for McGahn’s testimony.

One other extremely seen case that Jackson oversaw concerned the web conspiracy idea “pizzagate,” which revolved round false web rumors about outstanding Democrats harboring youngster intercourse slaves at a Washington pizza restaurant. A North Carolina man confirmed up on the restaurant with an assault rifle and a revolver. Jackson referred to as it “sheer luck” nobody was injured and sentenced him to 4 years in jail.

Jackson has a significantly shorter document as an appeals court docket decide. She was a part of a three-judge panel that dominated in December in opposition to Trump’s effort to protect paperwork from the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, revolt on the U.S. Capitol.

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She has stated that her dad and mom, Johnny and Ellery Brown, selected her identify to specific their satisfaction in her household’s African ancestry. They requested an aunt who was within the Peace Corps in Africa on the time to ship an inventory of African women’ names and so they picked Ketanji Onyika, which they have been informed meant “pretty one.”

Jackson traces her curiosity within the regulation to when she was in preschool and her father was in regulation college and they’d sit collectively on the eating room desk, she with coloring books and he with regulation books. Her father grew to become an legal professional for the county college board and her mother was a highschool principal. She has a brother who’s 9 years youthful who served within the Military, together with in Iraq, and is now a lawyer.

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Related Press writers Mark Sherman, Jessica Gresko and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.