Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky

Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky
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Stephen MooreStephen MooreOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Trump tax adviser floats middle-class cuts ahead of 2020 Sunday shows - Next impeachment phase dominates MORE’s bid for a spot on the Federal Reserve stood on increasingly shaky ground Tuesday after a number of GOP senators expressed deep misgivings about his possible nomination.

One of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE’s closest allies in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' MORE (R-S.C.), said Moore’s nomination would be “very problematic” given his controversial statements and writings about women and a host of other subjects, adding that it would be “tough” for him to win confirmation.

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Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Iowa), vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference, said Tuesday that she is “very unlikely” to support Moore and that other GOP colleagues privately shared her opposition.

Asked if she thought Moore could be confirmed, Ernst replied, “I don’t think so.”

Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoManchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks MORE (R-W.Va.) said Moore’s comments about women “are hard to look past,” while Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Lawsuits pose new challenge for TikTok TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week MORE (R-Tenn.), who coasted to a Senate election win with deep support from Trump last fall, warned that Moore would face heat about his remarks from the Senate.

“I've known him for years. Always had a good relationship with him,” Blackburn said. “If he is nominated, we will visit with him. I guarantee you — you can be assured — his comments will be some that we discuss.”

President Trump has yet to actually nominate Moore to a position on the Fed’s board, and the chorus of comments from Republicans makes it more likely the economist will withdraw his name from consideration.

If he does, he will be the second person Trump has floated for a spot on the Fed’s board to do so in quick succession after Herman Cain withdrew his name from consideration earlier this month. Cain did so after it became clear he could not be confirmed in the Senate.

So far, the White House has offered support for Moore.

“We’re still behind him, and he’s going through the process of vetting,” top White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, a close friend of Moore, said Monday.

But Kudlow also said earlier in April that the White House was interviewing other potential Fed nominees to replace Moore and Cain.

Moore said last week that he would bow out of the running if he would be a “liability” for swing-state Republican senators facing tough reelection races next year.

Moore, an opinion contributor to The Hill, made several claims questioning the value of women in the workforce and broader American society in past commentary writings.

Perhaps most notably, Moore wrote in a March 2002 column for National Review Online that women should not be included in sports.

“Here's the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything,” Moore wrote in the column, which was unearthed last week by CNN's KFile.

Moore has since apologized for that column and said it was meant to be a spoof. But Moore is also facing backlash for raising concerns about women earning more money than men.

He argued in a 2014 column for National Review Online that a wife earning more than her husband “could be disruptive to family stability.” Moore also argued during an appearance on C-SPAN in December 2000 that “the male needs to be the breadwinner of the family.”

Moore defended his comments in a Tuesday interview with CNBC, calling a decline in male earnings “the biggest problem I see in the economy over the last 25 years.”

“I want everybody’s wages to rise, of course. People are talking about women’s earnings. They’ve risen,” Moore said.

While wages are rising more quickly for women than for men, women still make less than men on average, according to federal data.

Several GOP senators raised doubts that Moore would get an official nomination from Trump given the intense backlash to his selection.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump MORE (R-Alaska), who opposed Cain’s potential appointment, noted the lack of a formal nomination for Moore.

“Right now his name hasn’t been put forward so this is all being speculated,” Murkowski said.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump MORE (R-Maine) also called the debate over Moore “premature” but said, “Obviously, I would have concerns about some of his writings on women, some of his economic policies, and whether or not he believes in the independence of the Federal Reserve.”

If Moore is forced to abandon his Fed bid, he would be the fourth potential central bank appointee rejected by the Senate GOP. Along with Cain, Republicans derailed Trump’s nominations of former Carnegie Mellon professor Marvin Goodfriend and former Fed director Nellie Liang.

Graham, asked if Moore's nomination should move forward, said it would be up to Trump but warned that “he needs to start talking to members of the Senate.” 

“There are a lot of people who have concerns about some of the issues,” he said.

Al Weaver contributed.