GOP senator to White House on Fed pick: 'Please do some research'

Senate Republicans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday over Stephen MooreStephen MooreWhy trade war with China is a dangerous game for America Trump, Kudlow 'had it out' after contradiction on who is hurt by tariffs: report Why free traders and all Americans should back Trump on China policy MORE withdrawing his name from consideration from the Federal Reserve Board, and urged the Trump administration to do a better job vetting potential nominations. 
 
The decision, which the President Trump announced in a tweet on Thursday, lets Republican senators avoid what was shaping up to be a showdown with Trump after several female senators, members of GOP leadership and traditional Trump allies began publicly airing their doubts about Moore this week. 
 
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Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenate defense bill would make military sexual harassment standalone crime Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report MORE (R-Iowa), a member of leadership, said on Thursday that she was "very, very thankful," that the president had reversed course on nominating Moore to the Federal Reserve Board. 
 
“I am very, very thankful that he decided not to pursue it," she told reporters. 

Asked what she hoped the administration learned from the incident she added, "Vetting, vetting, vetting." 
 
"The bottom line is they need to vet all of that even before they forward a name or float a name out there. ... Please do some research," said Ernst. 
 
Ernst, who is up for reelection in 2020, was the only senator who had formally said she would not support Moore. But GOP senators warned that he was facing widespread backlash in the caucus, with Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment Senate passes anti-robocall bill MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, telling reporters earlier Thursday that he likely could not get confirmed. 
 
Republicans have a 53-47 majority, meaning Moore could have only lost three GOP senators and still won confirmation, with Vice President Pence breaking a tie vote. 
 
 
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamNew Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes Graham: 'US must be willing to intervene in Venezuela' Trump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' MORE (R-S.C.) — a close ally of Trump's who previously warned it would be "tough" to get Moore through the Senate — said that "I think that was probably a wise decision." 
 
"Yeah, vet better," he added, asked if there was a takeaway from the White House on vetting. 
 
Vetting nominations, and consulting with senators about a pick, has emerged as a sticking point between Trump and Senate Republicans, who are increasingly expressing frustration about being caught off guard by names being floated by the White House. 
 
 
Asked if he thought the administration was currently doing vetting by floating names and seeing if someone could get confirmed, he added, "seems like it." 
 
The setback on Moore, who had emerged as a headache for Republicans on Capitol Hill, comes less than two weeks after Herman Cain also withdrew his name from consideration to the Fed board and only hours after Moore appeared to dig in for a fight with the Senate. 
 
He told Bloomberg News that he he and the White House were "all in" on nominating him to the Federal Reserve Board. 
 
“My biggest ally is the president,” Moore added. “He’s full speed ahead.”
 
Trump had not formally nominated Moore to the Federal Reserve Board, but appeared to be sticking with him as he faced days of controversy over his past writings. In one column written for National Review in 2002, Moore wrote that women should have no role in men's sports unless they dress in halter tops.
 
But Republicans said Thursday that they believed it was inevitable he would ultimately withdraw his nomination given the backlash from the GOP caucus. 
 
 
"I think under the circumstances he didn't have much choice," Shelby added about Moore's decision to withdraw. 
 
Going forward, Shelby said he hoped the administration considered "well-qualified, well-respect and non-controversial people because the Fed is an important place."