Third Republican is working in opposition to Shelton as Fed seat, making nomination troublesome
Efforts to validate Judy Shelton with the Federal Reserve got a little tougher when a prominent Republican announced his opposition on Monday.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Said in a statement that he would speak out against President Donald Trump’s appointment of Shelton as Fed governor, CNBC’s Ylan Mui reported.
That brings the total number of GOP senators to three, which puts the chamber in a likely 50:50 stall. Sens. Mitt Romney from Utah and Susan Collins from Maine are the others.
In a stalemate scenario, Vice President Mike Pence could step in and cast the decisive vote. The White House said Monday that Shelton still has the government’s full support and its confirmation is awaited, according to Reuters.
Shelton’s nomination was controversial from the start.
Democratic senators grilled them over their past support for the gold standard and the question of whether the Fed should operate without political pressure. It is the latter issue of Fed independence that Alexander quoted as saying Shelton does not support the concept “as much as I believe the Board of Governors should”.
“I do not want to leave the administration of the money supply to a Congress and a President who cannot balance the federal budget,” added Alexander.
In a somewhat surprising development last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would take the Shelton vote to full level this week, although a date for the vote has not yet been set. It would be unusual for McConnell to do this if he didn’t think Shelton had enough votes to get through, and the move came after Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski said she would support the nomination.
In addition to Shelton, Trump nominated St. Louis Fed official Christopher Waller to the Fed’s board of directors. It is not clear whether this vote will take place at the same time as Shelton’s.