Exclusive: Senate Banking Committee to take action on embattled Fed nominee Judy Shelton next week

Exclusive: Senate Banking Committee to take action on embattled Fed nominee Judy Shelton next week
© Greg Nash

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to mark up Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Federal Reserve next Tuesday, a signal she is expected to pass the panel along with Christopher Waller, another Fed nominee.

Shelton, whose nomination has run into Senate GOP opposition because of her unorthodox views, has been held up for weeks because of skepticism from Sens. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) and Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE (R-Ala.), two members of the Banking Committee.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks GOP senators say Biden COVID-19 strategy has 'exacerbated vaccine hesitancy' The Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act is an industry game-changer MORE’s (R-Idaho) expected notice of a markup for Shelton and Waller next week is a sign they have the votes to pass the committee, which has 13 Republican members and 12 Democrats.

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Shelton’s and Waller’s markups are expected to take place in executive session and precede a hearing for Dana Wade, President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE’s nominee to serve as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner, and Brian Miller to serve as special inspector general for pandemic recovery.

Trump nominated Wade and Miller in February and April, respectively.

Kennedy was undecided for weeks over how to vote on Shelton, who came under fire for her past support of returning to the gold standard, something that was abandoned in 1971.

A return to the gold standard would play havoc with the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, which has swelled to more than $6 trillion because of the coronavirus crisis.

Shelton has since backed off her advocacy for returning to the gold standard, telling the Banking Committee in February, “I would not advocate for going back to a prior historical monetary arrangement” and saying Congress has the ultimate authority to “regulate the value of U.S. money.”

Kennedy said he wanted to read more of Shelton's writings before making a decision. Shelby said he would oppose her if another Republican did but pledged not to act on his own to block the nominee.

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Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) was also skeptical of Shelton’s nomination but promised in February to vote for her after she pledged to oppose using monetary policy to devalue the dollar.

Shelton wrote to Toomey in a Feb. 25 letter that “statutory decree,” instead of the Fed, “defines the structure, responsibilities, and aims of the U.S. central banking system” and that the central bank does not have authority “to use monetary policy for the purpose of devaluing the dollar.”

Toomey voiced discomfort with Shelton’s views during a Feb. 13 hearing.

“That’s a very, very dangerous path to go down. This beggar-thy-neighbor mutual currency devaluation is not in our interest, and it is not in the mandate of the Fed to pursue it,” he said during Shelton’s confirmation hearing.

Shelton’s biggest backer in the Trump administration is National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE, according Senate sources familiar with the behind-the-scenes wrangling over her nomination.

A spokeswoman for the Banking Committee declined to comment on the markup before it is publicly announced.

"All hearings and markups are publicly announced when they are scheduled," Amanda Critchfield said.

A spokesperson for Kennedy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updated at 11:15 a.m.