Trump Fed pick seeks to explain past child labor law comments

Stephen MooreStephen MooreTime to capitalize on rare earth abundance in the United States Time to capitalize on rare earth abundance in the United States Trump to award Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer MORE, whom President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE has floated for an open seat on the Federal Reserve Board, responded Tuesday following newly unearthed comments about removing many child labor laws.

“I don’t support eliminating child labor laws," Moore said in statement shared with The Hill on Tuesday. "My point has been that when people work at a younger age – i.e., on the farm or doing chores, a paper route, bagging groceries, those workers tend to have a higher lifetime income than young people who don’t work."

"Lifetime earnings are correlated with how soon a person starts working," he added. "We do a great disservice when we keep young people – teenagers out of the workforce.”

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The statement from Moore, a conservative commentator, came after The Hill and other outlets reported earlier in the day about remarks the Trump pick made about child labor laws during a debate on the minimum wage at the 2016 GOP convention.

“I’m a radical on this, I’d get rid of a lot of these child labor laws. I want people starting to work at 11, 12,” Moore said during the debate.

The remark was first unearthed by The New York Times this week.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the remark.

Moore argued during the 2016 debate that late entry into the workforce was a major problem, saying barriers to young people entering the workforce should be limited. 

“Young people are starting to enter the workforce at a later age,” he said. “The big decline in labor force participation has been people between the ages of 16 and 30, and that’s highly problematic.”

“The most damaging thing we can do right now to the U.S. economy is create further barriers to young people getting in the work force,” he later added. 

Trump last month floated Moore, who served as an adviser to his 2016 presidential campaign, as a possible nominee for the Federal Reserve Board.

Since then, many of Moore's previous statements, including an opinion piece he wrote advocating against the presence of women in sports, have come under scrutiny along with his past criticism of the board.

Moore said he would withdraw from consideration if he became a "political problem" for Republicans.

Trump also floated former GOP presidential candidate and fast-food magnate Herman Cain as a contender for a second Fed board seat. Cain, who was a controversial figure because of past sexual misconduct allegations, recently dropped out of consideration. 

– This story was updated at 6:17 p.m. to reflect Moore's statement