Senate

Controversial Trump nominee Judy Shelton to pass Senate next week

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Judy Shelton, President Trump’s controversial nominee to the Federal Reserve, will receive a vote on the Senate floor next week and is expected to pass.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a key swing vote, announced Thursday that she had decided to support Shelton after speaking with her.

Her support appears enough to get Shelton through the Senate, where Republicans control 53 seats. Every Democrat is expected to vote against her.

“I’ve had an opportunity to talk to Judy Shelton and I’m going to be supporting her,” Murkowski told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Moments later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed for cloture on Shelton’s nomination, setting up a vote in the middle of next week.

A Senate Republican who was briefed by the leadership said Shelton has enough votes to pass.

“She’s coming to the floor and I was told today that we have the votes,” said the lawmaker.

Shelton’s nomination appeared dead in the water when Republican leaders decided not to bring her up for a vote before the election. She ran into bipartisan opposition earlier this year over her past support for returning to the gold standard and using inflation as a tool to make U.S. exports more competitive.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the incoming chairman of the Banking Committee, only agreed to vote for Shelton after she pledged in writing that she “would not advocate for the devaluation of U.S. currency” and agreed the Federal Reserve does not have authority to use monetary policy to devalue the dollar.

She also told Toomey in writing that it would not be appropriate for the Federal Reserve to react directly to the foreign exchange behavior of other countries.

Two other Republicans on the Banking Committee, Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) expressed reluctance about voting for Shelton but eventually came around.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow was Shelton’s biggest champion, according to Senate aides familiar with her nomination.

Two Senate Republicans have announced their opposition to Shelton, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah).

Romney said Thursday he still plans to vote against the nominee.

“I’m not supportive of her becoming a member of the Fed,” he said.

Collins in July said she had “serious concerns about the nomination.”

“In her past statements, Ms. Shelton has openly called for the Federal Reserve to be less independent of the political branches, and has even questioned the need for a central bank. This is not the right signal to send, particularly in the midst of the pandemic,” Collins said. 

Tags Donald Trump Federal Reserve John Kennedy Judy Shelton Larry Kudlow Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Pat Toomey Richard Shelby Susan Collins

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