Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky

Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky
© Fox News

Stephen MooreStephen MooreShame on Europe at the G-7 President Trump is right: Mainstream media 'do a very good job' Immigrants should not be on welfare 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 TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE’s closest allies in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWe've lost sight of the real scandal The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? The Memo: Times correction gives GOP lifeline in latest Kavanaugh controversy 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay Ernst'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections 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 CapitoThis week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure America is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction MORE (R-W.Va.) said Moore’s comments about women “are hard to look past,” while Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnThe evolution of Taylor Swift's political activism Kellyanne Conway responds to Taylor Swift criticism by invoking pop star's lyrics Is there internet life after thirty? 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 MurkowskiMcConnell lashes out at Democrats over 'unhinged' criticism of Kavanaugh The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year 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 takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Congress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance 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.