Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky

Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky
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Stephen MooreStephen MooreWhy trade war with China is a dangerous game for America Trump, Kudlow 'had it out' after contradiction on who is hurt by tariffs: report Why free traders and all Americans should back Trump on China policy 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE’s closest allies in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamNew Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes Graham: 'US must be willing to intervene in Venezuela' Trump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' 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 ErnstSenate defense bill would make military sexual harassment standalone crime Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report 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 CapitoCongress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster MORE (R-W.Va.) said Moore’s comments about women “are hard to look past,” while Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Hillicon Valley: Google delays cutting off Huawei | GOP senators split over breaking up big tech | Report finds DNC lagging behind RNC on cybersecurity 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 MurkowskiMurkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Overnight Energy: Park Service plans to pay full-time staff through entrance fees | Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax | Interior chief takes heat for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change 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 - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights 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.