Susan Collins to oppose Trump’s Fed nominee Judy Shelton

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said Monday that she will vote against Judy Shelton’s Federal Reserve Board nomination, becoming the second Republican senator to oppose President Trump’s controversial nominee.

“I have serious concerns about this 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,” Collins said in a statement.

“This is not the right signal to send, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, and for that reason, I intend to vote against her nomination if it reaches the floor,” she added.

The opposition from Collins, a moderate GOP senator who faces a tough reelection bid, comes after Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) became the first Republican to say he will vote against Shelton. Romney told reporters last week that he would not be “endorsing” Shelton’s nomination, adding, “I will be voting against her.”

It’s the latest potential setback for Trump’s nominee. Shelton can lose three GOP senators and still be confirmed, even without getting any Democratic votes, by letting Vice President Pence break a tie on her nomination.

Shelton is expected to get universal opposition from the Senate’s 47 Democrats, meaning if four Republican senators oppose her nomination she will not have the support needed to be confirmed.

The Senate Banking Committee advanced Shelton’s nomination this month in a 13-12 vote. Despite earlier doubts about her viability, Shelton won over three GOP committee members — Sens. Richard Shelby (Ala.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and John Kennedy (La.) — who had initially been skeptical of supporting her.

Shelton has drawn skepticism because of her past support for linking the value of the dollar to gold, along with her inconsistent stances on the Fed interest rates. She also has a close relationship with Trump and a lack of experience with banking regulations.

Shelton appeared to question the independence of the Fed when she said last year that “I don’t see any reference to independence in the legislation.”

Tags Central bank Donald Trump Federal Reserve John Kennedy Judy Shelton Mitt Romney Pat Toomey Richard Shelby Susan Collins Trump nominee
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