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

Senate Republicans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday over Stephen MooreStephen MooreWhy do Republicans keep trying to outspend Democrats in Congress? Trump puts hopes for Fed revolution on unconventional candidate Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers 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 ErnstThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout 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 ThuneGOP rattled by Trump rally GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator 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 GrahamGraham says he will call Papadopoulos to testify GOP group defends Mueller ahead of testimony The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony 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. 
 
"I think it's probably better to do a little more in-depth understanding of whether somebody can be confirmed or not before you say who you're thinking about nominating," said Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership. 
 
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. 
 
Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyTrump, Democrats clinch two-year budget deal The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal MORE (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Banking Committee, said it was "obvious" that Trump wasn't going to nominate him and that Republican senators had "raised some points" about their concerns about Moore. 
 
"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."